Halftime hits: Tajh Boyd totally off-target vs. Florida State, two key defenders hurt
CLEMSON – A few halftime observations from Florida State 27, Clemson 7:
- Tajh Boyd needs to hit the target. He’s throwing right now like a pitcher with 40 pitches and 17 strikes. Even the touchdown pass, 3 yards to Sammy Watkins, was a product of Watkins contorting himself backwards and bobbling the ball before hauling it in. Overall, he was 11-for-24 in the first half, and I don’t recall a drop by the receivers (in fact, Watkins’ hands saved him a couple of times.) Pretty poor effort in the first half. And to boot, he had his ankle taped up near the end of the half, per ABC.
- Boyd had two turnovers on the year entering the night. He has two in the first half. Stanton Seckinger had his own fumble, on the first play of the night, and that set the tempo.
- Jameis Winston: better than advertised. He’s 14-of-22, 242 yards, two touchdowns and a pick (either a bad read or a bad route, we don’t know), and his poise to convert on 2nd-and-30 was unreal for any college player, not to mention a freshman.
- Lamarcus Joyner is walking the walk. He has two forced fumbles (both recovered by his teammates) and an interception on Boyd’s horribly underthrown ball.
- Watkins is making plays. Seven catches, 62 yards, and a touch. He showed up.
- Roderick McDowell is running hard, with 23 yards on six carries, but he’d have more if not for that silly circuitous run that resulted in an 8-yard loss.
- WR Martavis Bryant, LG David Beasley and RT Gifford Timothy started, but Mike Williams, Kalon Davis and Shaq Anthony are rotating in.
- LB Spencer Shuey and DL DeShawn Williams were each hoisted to the locker room with apparent leg injuries. No immediate word on their statuses.
- CB Darius Robinson was helped off, but promptly returned.
- Kelvin Benjamin, who had the first touchdown catch, is an absolute beast. Clemson’s got to do something about him, though Bashaud Breeland and Darius Robinson are doing all they can to physically match up.
- When Clemson wins over the past two years, opponents convert 27 percent of third-down tries. When Clemson has lots, foes are 55 percent. Tonight, FSU is 4-for-7. Not a coincidence.
- Entering Saturday having not allowed a single point off turnovers, Clemson can’t overcome digging itself a 17-0 hole with miscues against anybody in the ACC; much less Florida State.