WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | Sports

Watford, Cavs Await Visit from Boyd's Tigers

Saturday's game at Scott Stadium will be the first time Virginia has played Clemson in football since 2009. And after that game, they won't meet again until 2020.

But there is still plenty of familiarity between the two sides -- particularly when it comes to the quarterback position.

Virginia sophomore David Watford will make his ninth career start in that game against the Tigers. No. 9 Clemson will go with fifth-year senior Tajh Boyd, who is 28-7 as the Tigers' starter the past three seasons.

Watford (Hampton) and Boyd (Phoebus) attended rival Hampton Roads high schools, and actually played against one another in 2008 -- a 42-6 Phoebus win at home, en route to a perfect 15-0 season.

"We have a pretty close relationship. We've texted before; I talked to him when we were in high school," Watford said Monday.

"When we were in high school, he was one of the guys I was, as I was growing up it was Tyrod Taylor and then Tajh Boyd. And then I came after those two," Watford explained. "So he was one of the older guys that I wanted to, I worked with him before. Just trying to learn from that guy."

Virginia coach Mike London is also a 757 guy.

"Tajh, I've known him for a long time, coming out of Phoebus High School," London said Monday. "And he's very mature, very focused, and now one of the leaders on that Clemson team."

Boyd has started all 35 games for the Tigers the past three seasons. Last year, he was named ACC player of the year, after throwing for 3,896 yards and 36 touchdowns. This year, he leads the conference with 2,243 passing yards, and is second with 17 touchdown passes -- including a 304-yard, one-touchdown performance last weekend in a win at Maryland.

Watford is coming off his best statistical performance as a college quarterback, in last Saturday's UVa loss to Georgia Tech. He broke a pair of Matt Schaub's old school records with 43 completions on 61 pass attempts, and his 376 yards are the fourth-highest single-game total in program history.

"Tajh has been noted as one of the best quarterbacks in the country. And we're talking about David improving, and getting to a level where he's as competitive and he's as explosive in everything that he does, as well," London said Monday.

"It will be exciting for the two of them," London said of Saturday's game. "They'll meet probably at pregame; they'll hug after the game. But they'll be competing against each other. Because they want to come out of the game as the best quarterback on that day."


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