Watkins' rocky start

CLEMSON - Countless double teams, a two-game suspension and one nasty stomach virus have all contributed to Sammy Watkins' slow start in 2012.

After setting the world on fire as a freshman, Watkins has yet to put together a vintage performance this season.

Rest assured, Tiger fans, it's bound to happen.

"Coach wants to get me the ball in different ways. At the same time, I've just got to let the game come to me, instead of just forcing it on myself, being mad and trying to rush," Watkins said. "It's going to come. I'm not going to rush it."

Watkins hopes this weekend's game against Virginia Tech will kick start a productive second half of his second season.

"I'm pretty sure it will probably take this game right here to actually get me in the groove, get the ball to me a couple of times and just get to game speed, and get started back playing and being confident in myself," he said.

Through the first three games last season, Watkins caught 21 passes for 292 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed 12 times for 88 yards and returned five kickoffs for 110 yards.

Watkins, who's played in three games this year, has 16 catches for 188 yards, eight rushes for 99 yards and a score and eight kickoff returns for 128 yards.

The All-American sophomore missed the Boston College trip as he dealt an abdominal virus which began to show some symptoms the night before the Florida State game.

"I still came out there and played," he said. "It didn't affect the outcome of what happened. We lost, so it doesn't matter. I still came out there and played hard."

A week later, Watkins had to pull himself out of practice twice. The day before the team flew to Boston, Watkins was declared inactive.

"I just got sick and I was feeling bad," he said. "That's all I know. I went to the doctor and they gave me medicine. Then, the next three days, I was fine."

Said Watkins, "I didn't know what was wrong with me. Then, when I went to the doctor, it was kind of stressful knowing that I couldn't make it up to Boston College and knowing that I was going to miss another game, due to the virus. But, at the same time, things happen."

Tajh Boyd seems to believe good things are coming from No. 2.

"I think people came into this season expecting him to have 400 all-purpose yards every game," Boyd said. "But, the thing is, he missed three games. He really only played two games, with half of the Furman game. There are still things we have to keep him incorporated on.

"He's going to explode one of these games…everybody believes that."

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