Don't Believe the Hype

CLEMSON - As a senior quarterback that's seen just about everything there is to see in a five-year college football career, it comes as no surprise that Charlie Whitehurst refuses to buy into the hype that this weekend's game against Georgia Tech is a 'revenge' game.

Charlie it seems like everybody has been talking about the development of Aaron Kelly this week. What are your thoughts on how he's come along for you this year?
Whitehurst: He's definitely made some strides here in the mid part of the season, but that's something we all saw at the start of fall camp. He's turning out to be a dangerous weapon for us and we are counting on him now. We expect him to improve and continue to be a huge part of this offense.

Do you think a lot of that has to do with just getting him more experience on game day?
Whitehurst: Sure. I've said many times that practice is not like a game no matter what kind of format you've got. So as many times as he can get his hands on the ball the better. He's talented enough to be as good as any that I've seen play since I've been in school. I just think Clemson fans are in store for something special over the years.

Georgia Tech plays the three-deep, three-under zone on defense. Explain that concept to the average fan and what do you have to do to move the football against that kind of scheme?
Whitehurst: Well they do play that a good bit. That's six in coverage and that means five are rushing. That means they are going to try and pressure the quarterback. If you can protect, and get the ball off, there are holes in that under coverage. Usually, a three-deep coverage is four underneath. That's a little more difficult to throw against than the three under. So, there are going to be holes there, and if we can protect, we ought to be able to move the football against that kind of coverage.

So the bottom line here is that one of the big keys Saturday is to give you the time to throw the ball against a defense that's going to bring a good bit of pressure.
Whitehurst: I think that's their game plan. 'Lets pressure the quarterback and not give up the big play if we don't get to him, we've got the zone coverage there.' There will be holes there, but we have to protect and run the football. If we do those things, we'll be all right.

Talking to the team this week, I get the sense that last year's game is lingering around in the back of some players' minds, but you don't really hear anything about 'revenge.' Is that an accurate way to describe this team and how it feels in regards to last year's game against Georgia Tech?
Whitehurst: I'm not going to say I agree, or that I disagree with that. I do know when you lose like that it's a helpless feeling. It's almost like, 'what can you do?' It does linger a little bit maybe but I don't know that's what got us the next week or the week after. The whole idea of 'revenge' is kind of ridiculous. I've never been a big believer in that. We definitely know what's at stake and we definitely know we need to win Saturday.

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