Tajh Boyd (Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports)
Dan Wolken, USA TODAY Sports
CLEMSON, S.C. - Tajh Boyd had the tweet all ready to go.
Upon hearing South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney's proclamation Tuesday that Boyd was "scared" of playing against him, Clemson's quarterback pulled out his iPhone and typed a 140-character response. Then he erased it, choosing instead to take the high road more befitting a fifth-year senior.
"I'll tell you man, honestly, there's some things I would definitely like to say but I'm just not going to entertain it," Boyd told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday.
Boyd, who has thrown for more than 8,000 yards and 73 touchdowns in his Clemson career, struggled last year in a 27-17 loss to South Carolina, completing 11-of-24 passes for 183 yards while getting sacked 4.5 times by Clowney alone. It was Clemson's fourth consecutive loss to the Gamecocks in a rivalry that has become even spicier recently due to the off-field feud between coaches Steve Spurrier and Dabo Swinney and the concurrent rise in both programs' national stature.
Clowney threw another haymaker at SEC Media Days on Wednesday, saying of Boyd: "You can see in his eyes that he's scared of our D-line. He is scared every time we play them. I know he's listening to this right now, but I'm telling the truth."
Though Boyd is expected to be one of the nation's best quarterbacks and a potential Heisman Trophy candidate, he felt it best not to engage Clowney given last year's result.
"I mean, we haven't beaten those guys in a good bit now and there's nothing else really to be said about it," Boyd said. "We just have to go out there and beat those guys, and that's really all there is to it."
Clemson is coming off an 11-2 season that finished with a victory over LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl and returns four all-conference players. South Carolina also went 11-2 with a win over Michigan in the Outback Bowl.
Both are expected to be among the nation's top-15 teams this season. They play Nov. 30 in Columbia.
"I don't think Tajh Boyd is scared of anybody," Swinney said. "He's a great player; there's no doubt about that, and was a great player in our game against us and disruptive and made some huge plays and I look forward to getting another shot at him this year."