Willing and able to run

Tajh Boyd

CLEMSON - Included in the vision Chad Morris has for the hurry-up, no-huddle offense is a quarterback capable of running the ball, not just throwing it.

Tajh Boyd proved last year that he was more than capable of moving the ball through the air. He finished 298 of 499 passing for 3,828 yards with 33 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

His production on the ground was pretty average -- 142 carries for 218 yards and five touchdowns.

This year's version of Boyd, who dropped 20 pounds in the offseason, is capable as a passer and a runner.

Through nine games, Boyd's completed 192 of 283 throws for 2,680 yards with 25 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

He's also rushed for 350 yards and five touchdowns on 116 carries.

"Running the ball is one of those things where you have to gain confidence in it," Boyd said. "If you haven't run as much in the past -- or even growing up, in general -- you don't feel as comfortable in it. You don't have as much confidence in it."

The redshirt junior still prides himself on his skills as a thrower, so don't mistake him for a Tim Tebow or a Michael Vick.

"I'm not going to say I'm an extreme runner," Boyd said. "I'm going to run when opportunities present themselves.

"But I think it helps out a lot."

Boyd's added threat as a runner has helped make Clemson one of the nation's premier offenses. The Tigers are No. 9 in the country in total offense, 32nd in rushing, 10th in passing and seventh in scoring.

"I'm just excited about the rate that we're going on. I don't really see a point to where we may drop off. It's starting to finally click the way want it to. I'm just excited about it," Boyd said.

Clemson's high-powered offense will have its hands full on Saturday after versus a Maryland defense that ranks 11th in the country.

"[A] really athletic team, very well coached and really disciplined," Boyd said. "There [have] been some struggles over there on that team, in general. As far as defensively, they do a great job over there, bring a lot of blitzes, switch up the coverage."

The date with Maryland will give Boyd another opportunity to meet one of the goals he set for the 2012 season.

"One of my goals coming into the season was to get a 100-yard rushing game," he said. "I was close. At halftime [versus Duke], I was at 75 yards, I'm going to go ahead and get 25 yards in the second half. [But] I came out a little bit early.

"It was all good. You just get excited about the opportunities that are available in that type of game. It's starting to come along."

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