The Clemson University football team’s 2013 season opener against Georgia was billed as one of the biggest games in school history – and it was.
But here’s the thing about big games: When you win them (as Clemson did), the next “big game” looms even larger. Such is the case with this weekend’s showdown between No. 3 Clemson (6-0, 4-0 ACC) and No. 5 Florida State (5-0, 3-0 ACC) – which is loaded with national championship and Heisman Trophy implications.
Only the third Top Five showdown in ACC history, this battle of undefeated teams features two of the best quarterbacks in college football – Clemson’s Tajh Boyd (who continues to rewrite the Tiger record book) and Florida State’s freshman sensation Jameis Winston (a two-sport star who is looking to become the first true freshman to win the Heisman).
Both quarterbacks are accurate, strong-armed, mobile, hard to tackle and smart with the football. Both have a wickedly talented corps of wide receivers. And both play for offensive geniuses.
The result? Crazy good numbers …
Here’s the tale of the tape …
Boyd VERSUS Winston
Senior – CLASS – Freshman
6-foot-1 – HEIGHT – 6-foot-4
225 – WEIGHT – 228
Hampton, Virginia – HOMETOWN – Bessemer, Alabama
No. 2 – HEISMAN RANKING – No. 4
No. 3 – TEAM RANKING – No. 5
1,783 – PASSING YARDS (Season) – 1,441
15 – PASSING TOUCHDOWNS (Season) – 17
2 – INTERCEPTIONS (Season) – 2
66.5 – COMPLETION PERCENTAGE (Season) – 73.2
187 – RUSHING YARDS (Season) – 135
5 – RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS – 2
@TajhB10 – TWITTER HANDLE – @Jaboowins
The real difference between the two? Boyd has a signature victory under his belt this year – the aforementioned Georgia win in which he out-dueled the Bulldogs’ All-SEC quarterback Aaron Murray. In fact Boyd has won back-to-back starts against the big bad Southeastern Conference.
A victory over Florida State and he would likely pass Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota in the Heisman rankings.
Winston has a couple of conference road wins under his belt – not to mention a 63-0 thrashing of then-No. 25 Maryland – but he’s never gone up against an opponent quite like Clemson (and certainly not in a hostile environment like Death Valley).
Beating the Tigers would give him his first signature win – and likely vault him to the top of the Heisman charts.
We’ll have a #FITSPick for this game later this week, but we gotta say … at this point we’re leaning Clemson (even though the Florida State defense is one of the best units in America).
What do you think? Vote in our poll and post your thoughts in our comments section below …
Banner pic: Travis Bell Photography