If there is one word to describe the mood of Tiger Fans everywhere, it's this: frustration. First, it was the lack of receiving production by your veteran wide receivers, who were supposed to emerge and help carry the rest of the young receiving corps. Now, it's those young receivers that carry the load in the passing game, with the veterans now merely place holders.
Now, the frustration has shifted to one man: Kyle Parker, the two sport star of football and baseball. It seems as though ever since the Auburn game, after Parker took that heavy hit, he has become a more hesitant, less aggressive quarterback; he doesn't step up in the pocket, and he flushes right too early and too often.
The result: Clemson has fallen to a 4-4 record, with no hopes of another shot at the ACC Championship. The Tigers can't just get over the hump, once again losing to mediocre Boston College team that Clemson should win against. Having once again been beat by one player, and plagued by their kicking game (again), they head back to a deflated Death Valley against a much improved N.C. State Wolfpack team.
What do Clemson fans have to look forward to on Saturday against a tougher, more physical Wolfpack team? What new things should we expect to see?
There is one thing we will see on the field on Saturday: Tajh Boyd.
Word is out by Dabo Swinney that Boyd will play snaps against the Wolfpack this Saturday at noon. This is a sign that the Boyd era is soon approaching, and Napier and Dabo are starting to prepare the future Clemson QB of 2011 and on. While Parker remains a starter, Swinney has put a bit of a little twist on things by playing Boyd now.
Boyd was a surprising commitment of Dabo's first smaller class dubbed "Dabo's Dandy Dozen." He is a great dual threat, possessing the strong arm, as well as the mobility to match. Boyd red-shirted his first year, spending his time on the scout team, and has spent this season as the number two quarterback, and spent most of the summer as the starter while Parker was away negotiating his baseball contract.
How Boyd will perform in a bigger time game will be interesting to see. Considering he's spent more time with the receivers over the summer than Parker did, they may feel comfortable with him. Boyd has seen the field the first two games against North Texas and Presbyterian, but hasn't seen the field since.
Boyd threw and ran for a touchdown against Presbyterian, and also threw an interception. The staff has given Boyd plenty of credit during practice, and have seen improvement being in the offense for a real season, and giving him a better chance for development.
What can we expect of Boyd against N.C. State? Who knows, but he may surprise some when he gets his chance in the limelight.