I know she likely wasn’t being serious with her Boyd-Murray comparison yesterday, so I don’t want to get too deep into the weeds here, but it’s worth noting that Clemson and Georgia faced three common opponents last year – Auburn, Georgia Tech and South Carolina. Both quarterbacks finished 2-1 and both had their worst games of the year against the Gamecocks, although Boyd didn’t implode nearly as spectacularly as Murray did.
But if you look at their passing stats against the other two teams, there’s no comparison. Murray’s passer rating against Auburn was more than sixty points higher than Boyd’s; his passer rating against Tech was more than seventy points higher. (I’m happy to stipulate that Boyd’s a bigger threat with his feet than Murray is, because Boyd doesn’t have the luxury of contracting that part of the offense out to Gurley and Marshall.)
What am I getting at here? Neither defense we’ll see Saturday night is likely to be confused with last year’s South Carolina pass defense. For that matter, Clemson finished lower in pass defense in 2012 than Auburn and Georgia Tech did. (Tech and Clemson were pretty similar defensively in F+, by the way. Auburn’s another story.) So if we’re going to compare two stellar quarterbacks going up against pass defenses that aren’t so stellar, what do you think may be a better indication of how they do tomorrow night, last year’s work under similar circumstances, or Boyd’s ACC preseason player of the year award?