CLEMSON, S.C. - Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney formally named Cole Stoudt his starting quarterback during a teleconference with media from around the nation today. The senior from Dublin, Ohio moves into the role following the graduation of Tajh Boyd, who led Clemson to a 32-8 record and a pair of top 10 final USA Today rankings the last two seasons.
Stoudt, the son of former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Cliff Stoudt, has been Boyd's backup the last three years. Over that time he has played in 22 games and completed 86-119 passes for 742 yards and eight touchdowns. He has thrown just one interception and has a completion percentage of 72.3, best in Clemson history given a minimum of 100 attempts. His career passing efficiency is 145.1.
In 2013, Stoudt completed 47-59 passes for 415 yards and five touchdowns without an interception. His 79.7 percent accuracy was the best in the nation among quarterbacks with at least 50 attempts and his 166.7 efficiency rating was just below Boyd's 168.7, which was sixth in the nation among quarterbacks with at least 15 pass attempts per game.
"I really like Cole Stoudt." said Swinney. "He has performed every time that he's been called upon in three years. He has prepared to be the starter every week, even though Tajh Boyd was there. He was always ready, so I think he understands he's got an experience that is very good for us. He has a great feel for our system, and again, he's been on the big stage many times and has performed well."
Stoudt won't have a home game against an average opponent to begin his career as a starter. The Tigers open the 2014 season at Georgia on August 30. The third game of the year is at defending National Champion Florida State.
Stoudt looks to be just the fourth senior quarterback in his first year as Clemson's starter in the last 40 years. Billy Lott was backup to Steve Fuller for three years, then took the Tigers to an 8-4 record and a Peach Bowl Bid in 1979. Chris Morocco was Rodney Williams backup for three years, then guided Clemson to a 10-2 record, a Gator Bowl victory over West Virginia, and a #12 final AP ranking in 1989. Will Proctor was backup to Charlie Whitehurst for three years, then led Clemson to an 8-5 record and a Music City Bowl bid in 2006.