Even a basketball rejection couldn’t stop Clemson QB Tajh Boyd

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and QB Tajh Boyd celebrate the Tigers 40-35 win over Ohio State in the 2014 Orange Bowl.

Joshua S. Kelly/Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Early in the second quarter of Clemson’s 40-35 win over Ohio State in the Orange Bowl, a basketball game broke out.

Within close range of the end zone but under pressure from the Buckeyes defense, Tajh Boyd was running out of time and options.

Instead of sprinting out of bounds or hitting the deck, Boyd got cute.

And you know what can happen when players get fancy.

The Tigers’ senior captain tossed a pass that could be likened to a basketball teardrop in the lane.

The result?

Not in my house.

Buckeyes DB Vonn Bell, looking like former star NBA shot-blocker Dikembe Mutombo, rejected Boyd for the interception. Check out Bell’s amazing athletic effort:

(h/t: gifsection.com)

Wild QB shootout

Despite the full-extension block, Boyd, the ACC’s all-time leader in touchdown passes, bounced back to make four more TD throws, finishing with five scoring passes, one rush to the end zone, and 497 yards of total offense in his last game for Clemson.

In a highly entertaining and error-riddled contest between two of the best quarterbacks left out of the Heisman Trophy ceremony last month, Boyd got the better of Ohio State QB Braxton Miller, as the two played a role in 10 of the game’s 11 touchdowns.


On his scoring throws, Miller was offered acres of real estate to find his targets. Here’s one example of the space he was given to work with thanks to an inattentive Tigers defense.

(h/t: gifdsports.com)

On the opposide side, Boyd also was given some wide-open options on three of his TD throws, but one of the keys to Clemson’s win was his knack for finding the smallest of windows to produce points.  

(h/t: @cjzero)

Boyd’s receivers also deserve plenty of credit, including junior WR Sammy Watkins, who broke Orange Bowl records for receiving yards with 227 and catches with 16.

By the way, Sammy, this photo would make an amazing poster:

Turns out Flipper was right, again

Remember that dolphin at the Miami Seaquarium that’s made a habit of picking the winner of the Orange Bowl in recent years?

Well, Flipper was right again. That makes him 4-0 in his selections for the annual Miami bowl game.

Need proof of his pick, you say?