Parker sees positives despite loss

CLEMSON - There may have been a couple of plays in the first half of Saturday's loss to Miami when Kyle Parker was "a little tentative."

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Not because of the hefty check from Colorado that was placed in his bank account several hours before kickoff. Chalk that one up to the rib injury he suffered two weeks prior at Auburn.

"When I went out there, I was just saying I'm going to cut it loose, go out there and play," Parker said at the West End Zone on Tuesday. "You always have that in the back of your mind, to be a little tentative. I didn't want that at all. I didn't really think. There may have been one or two plays where I played a little tentative."

He had completed 5 of 17 passes for 34 yards with a pair of interceptions when Clemson went into the locker room down 27-14.

"For the most part, I thought I went out there and played normal, just like I usually would. I don't think my back or being sore or my ribs really affected me in any of the mistakes I made," Parker said. "I thought I could have made those plays."

In the second half, he completed 9 of 16 passes for 118 yards, fumbled and threw a third interception.

The second-straight loss dropped Clemson to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in the ACC.

No worries, at least for now.

"Last year we ended up winning the division and we had two losses in the division. Right now, we just have one," Parker said. "It's not really the end of the world. I think we're playing better football than we were at this point last year, so that's a positive. Hopefully, we can improve and not go backwards like we did last Saturday."

And it's not like they're trying to dig themselves into the same hole. The turn-around from the 0-2 start in the conference was a nice story, a remarkable display of determination by the team, but it's not one they're looking to replicate.

"We wanted to kind of learn from last year and go play consistent football," Parker said. "I thought we did that up until last Saturday. With that being said, we do have to respond the right way."

There's likely to be a change in who he's throwing to on Saturday. DeAndre Hopkins, Bryce McNeal, Jaron Brown and Marquan Jones have received the first-team reps this week at wide receiver.

It's up to Parker to make those guys look good.

"I have to put them in a better situation this Saturday, to make a lot of plays. I'm really working on that in practice. I'm trying to pinpoint my throws and make it easy on them," he said. "I'm pretty sure those guys are going to step up. They're young, but I've seen it from them before, especially on the practice field."

He also remains positive about the injury.

"I feel better. I didn't get too beat up in the game against Miami," Parker said. "That was something that I was worried about. I came out of there feeling pretty good. I think it will be nice week to really just get to worry about the other defense and what our guys are doing rather than thinking how do I feel today and how I feel physically." Top Stories