Tajh Boyd

South Carolina State slows down Tajh Boyd


Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd vaulted into the upper echelon of Heisman contenders after leading the Tigers to an exciting win over Georgia last weekend. The senior combined for five touchdowns running and passing against the Bulldogs, a feat which put him at the top of the latest HeismanPundit Straw Poll.

But to truly challenge for the Heisman, Boyd needs outstanding numbers to go with his wins and, while Clemson is making quick work of South Carolina State on Saturday (they led 45-7 in the third quarter as of this writing), his production wasn’t exactly sterling against these Bulldogs.

Boyd completed 14 of 23 passes for 169 yards with no touchdowns against SC State. He did score a rushing touchdown, but only had 10 yards on the ground before being pulled in the third quarter.

Why harp on average numbers in an easy win?

Because, come November, Boyd will ultimately be judged by Heisman voters on his overall season production. An opponent like South Carolina State generally gives a candidate an easy opportunity to pad his numbers and provide a statistical cushion against future downturns. But Boyd missed that chance and he’ll have to make up for it with a huge game later to get back on pace.

Don’t get me wrong. This game isn’t going to cost Boyd the Heisman. But it will make it harder for him to convince voters down the road that his overall numbers are Heisman worthy.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season?  Watch lists are being whittled.

The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior.  The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.

The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten.  The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).

Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah