Parker shows toughness in loss

AUBURN, Ala. - Bruised and beat up, Kyle Parker played every snap during Clemson's 27-24 loss at No. 15 Auburn Saturday night.

The million-dollar baseball player who's playing quarterback one-more time this fall had a hurt left shoulder and banged up ribs for most of the second half. He finished 21 of 35 for 227 yards and two touchdowns.

Dwayne Allen, who was on the receiving end of five passes for 66 yards, was impressed with Parker's toughness.

"Here's a guy sitting with a million-plus sitting in his bank account," Allen said. "If I was in his situation, I don't know how I would have reacted. I know I have my money in the bank. I know I have a career after football. Kyle, he's a different guy. He's not me. He sucked it up. He got back into the game because he wanted to win. He's a winner."

The thought of not returning to the field never even crossed Parker's mind after taking a devastating hit following a 6-yard scramble in the third quarter.

On the following Auburn drive, the SEC Tigers evened the score at 17.

"I knew I was coming back in," he said. "I told them they were going to have to take me off on a stretcher before I was coming out. It was one of those games."

Jamie Harper was on the receiving end for two of Parker's touchdown passes.

"He's a strong-willed guy," Harper said. "I know he's hurting bad, but he's got his head high. He tried to do as much as he could. He kept being a leader, but sometimes, somebody else has got to take over."

Offensive coordinator Billy Napier admitted that the shot to the back of Parker's ribs affected his play calling.

"That's a tough sucker there. The guy is a competitor and that can be contagious and rub off on the rest of the team," Napier said.

Clemson is off next week before opening ACC play versus Miami on homecoming.

"All of our focus will go to the ACC title run now," Napier said. "Our goal is to win our division. That's our next goal."


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