Tajh Boyd threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more to lead Clemson over Georgia in the lone matchup of top-10 teams in college football’s opening weekend.
Clemson’s Boyd threw a 77-yard TD pass to Sammy Watkins and a 24-yard scoring pass to Zac Brooks and added touchdown runs of 4 and 2 yards to lead the No. 8 Tigers in its 38-35 victory over No. 5 Georgia. The seesaw battle earned Clemson selection as the Week 1 winner of the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Year Contest.
Clemson won its second straight game against a top-10 opponent from the Southeastern Conference, beating LSU, 25-24, in the Chick-fil-A Bowl to end last season.
Against Georgia, the Tigers took the lead for good, 31-28, on Chandler Catanzaro’s 24-yard field goal near the end of the third quarter. Georgia had a chip-shot try for a game-tying kick on its next possession but couldn’t get if off because of a low snap.
Boyd pushed Clemson’s margin to 38-28 in the final quarter with an 87-yard drive that ended with tight end Stanton Seckinger tip-toeing the sideline on a 9-yard TD pass.
Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray led a 64-yard drive in the final quarter and his 1-yard TD run cut the lead to 38-35 with 1:19 left. But Clemson recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock to end Georgia’s five-game series win streak.
A national panel of experts selects the weekly winner of the Academy’s College Football Game of the Year Contest. Each week’s winner is considered for the award honoring the best College Football Game of the Year at the end of the season. Last season’s winner was Texas A&M’s 29-24 shocking upset of Alabama in a Southeastern Conference showdown.
This committee is currently chaired by Jack Lengyel, the former athletic director at the United States Naval Academy. Lengyel was also a college football coach best known for being the head coach who resurrected the Marshall University football program, as depicted in the 2006 film, “We Are Marshall.”
Daniel Moore, the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy each year to create a painting honoring the selected College Football Game of the Year. The Academy, also known as America’s Sports University, donates the painting and $5,000 to the general scholarship fund of the annual winner.