It is a pretty simple question, but one without a simple answer: Who would you rather have starting for your favorite college team on Saturdays, Tajh Boyd or Jameis Winston?
We ask, of course, because Boyd’s Clemson Tigers host Winston’s Florida State Seminoles in Death Valley on Saturday, highlighting Week 8 of the 2013 college football season. Both ACC powerhouses enter the nationally televised showdown undefeated. However, only one will still be in the national title hunt after the final whistle.
Who would you want leading the way into such a highly-anticipated football game?
Boyd is the senior leader of a Clemson squad that has already proven its mettle against some of the very best teams in the nation. He led his Tigers to a win over mighty LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl to end the 2012-13 season and kept it going to open this year, putting up 38 points to beat another SEC power in Georgia.
Through six games this year, Boyd has already tallied 1,783 yards, 15 touchdowns and only two interceptions. He also boasts another five scores on the ground.
For his career, Boyd has recorded a whopping 9,836 yards, 88 passing touchdowns, 21 rushing touchdowns and 30 interceptions.
He has been there and done that – unlike his FSU counterpart, Winston.
Would you prefer a senior leader to just a redshirt freshman? Generally speaking, most would.
But what if that frosh has posted an out-of-this-world 213.94 rating through his first five career games, a number that is good for second in the nation? What if he has thrown for 1,441 yards on just 123 passing attempts while posting a 73.2 completion percentage? That number, for those wondering, is tied for second nationally, with none other than reigning Heisman winner Johnny Manziel.
He has thrown for 17 scores, rushed for two more and only tossed two picks.
Obviously, his numbers are glowing. However, they have come against the likes of Pitt, Nevada and Bethune-Cookman – none of which are world beaters. The only ranked foe he has faced all year is a Maryland squad that never deserved to be in the top 25 in the first place.
He has never faced a team of Clemson’s quality. He has never faced the nation’s sacks leader in Tigers defensive end Vic Beasley. Boyd, on the other hand, has faced LSU’s vaunted defensive front and emerged victorious. Boyd has also faced off against Jadeveon Clowney, meaning he knows what pressure feels like. Winston has never been forced to make decisions in the face of such an intense pass rush.
Will Winston be successful in doing so on Saturday? Would you trust him to be?
Or would you prefer the older, more experienced Boyd to the more purely talented Winston?
Both quarterbacks have the wins in 2013. Both have posted the big-time, Heisman-caliber numbers.
However, only one can leave the field on Saturday victorious. Which would you want to lead the way?