Tajh Boyd, a sophomore quarterback from No. 21 Clemson, has been selected as this week’s Manning Award Player of the Week. Boyd earns the honor over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week after earning more votes than any other candidate thus far in the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Facebook contest.
Boyd, a Hampton, Va., native starting in his third game for the Tigers, led Clemson to a 38-24 upset of defending national champion Auburn on Saturday, ending its 17-game winning streak. The sophomore completed 30-of-42 passes for 386 yards and four touchdowns without an interception; leading his offense to 624 yards of total offense, the third most in Clemson history. Boyd’s 386 yards passing were the second most in Clemson history while his 30 rushing yards gave him 416 yards of total offense, fourth most in Clemson history. Clemson maintained possession for over 22 minutes in the second half and is now 3-0 for the first time since 2007. This was also the third time since 1936 that Clemson has hosted the previous year’s national champion, coming out on top all three times.
In addition to collecting Manning Award Player of the Week honors, Boyd was named the ACC Offensive Back of the Week. The Tigers face No. 11 Florida State at home this week for a Saturday afternoon game.
In the voting, Clemson fans did not disappoint as Boyd earned the most votes of any nominee to date. Not far behind in the race was Russell Wilson of Wisconsin and Iowa’s James Vandenberg, who finished second and third, respectively. Wilson led the Badger offense to 621 yards of total offense, including scores on six of its first seven possessions against Northern Illinois , while Vandenberg led his team, down 24-3 late in the third quarter, to the biggest comeback in school history, running for a touchdown then throwing for three in the fourth quarter against Pitt.
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 2004 to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.
The honor will be recognizing its eighth winner this year. USC’s Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas’ Vince Young in 2006. Both went on to be top 10 NFL draft picks. In 2007, LSU’s JaMarcus Russell earned the award and was the NFL’s No. 1 draft pick. Boston College’s Matt Ryan claimed the award in 2008 and was drafted No. 3, quickly becoming the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. In 2009, Florida star Tim Tebow earned the honor – he also went on to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The 2010 winner was Texas signal-caller Colt McCoy, the winningest quarterback in college football history, who was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the draft. Last year saw Auburn’s Cameron Newton earn the award, prior to being selected No. 1 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers.