Notebook: Whitehurst Rusty?

ATLANTA – For six weeks, Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst has been nursing an injury. It finally got bad enough that it prevented him from taking as many snaps as usual this week during practice.

And while it didn't have affect the outcome of Clemson's 10-9 loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday, Tigers coach Tommy Bowden didn't believe his quarterback was as sharp in the game because of the missed practice time.

The injury is a muscle strain on the back of his throwing shoulder. It was very painful for him during the Boston College game and somewhat during the Wake Forest game. It is nothing too series, but one of those nagging injuries that only rest can cure.

"He was a little rusty," Bowden said. "He didn't practice a whole lot. He had a day or two off and was a little rusty. We gave Will (Proctor) a bunch more work."

Whitehurst told CUTigers.com that he has had the shoulder looked at extensively, including having an MRI done, but no damage was found. It is in solid shape, minus the slight strain, he said.

Rumbling through the Ramblin' Wreck
Clemson tailback Reggie Merriweather blitzed through the Georgia Tech defense without much of a problem. In fact, his teammate Kyle Browning also put together a solid game's worth of action in limited time.

The two combined for 161 yards on 29 carries, for an average of 5.5 yards a carry. Merriweather also became the first to rush for at least 100 yards against the Yellow Jackets this year and the first since Miami's Frank Gore had 124 in the fourth game last season.

Merriweather's performance snaps a Georgia Tech streak of 14 consecutive games of not allowing a 100-yard rusher.

First of many fumbles
For the first time this year, the Tigers lost a fumble. And it didn't take long for it to occur.

On the first drive in the opening quarter, Clemson had it first-and-10 at the Yellow Jackets' 13 and a handoff to Merriweather followed, which eventually resulted in a fumble.

He was initially ruled down by contact, but replay overturned the call, thus giving the ball to Georgia Tech at its own 8 with 10:23 left in the opening quarter. It was the first lost fumble the all season and first overturned replay for Clemson all season.

No team in NCAA history has gone an entire season without losing a fumble. Three teams, all from the Mid-American Conference, had just one lost fumble; Bowling Green in 1996, Miami (OH) in 1998 and Northern Illinois in 2004.

Following Merriweather's fumble, the Yellow Jackets punted four plays later to Clemson's Chansi Stuckey, who muffed the catch and a Georgia Tech player fell on it for what appeared to be the Tigers' second turnover. However, a penalty against Georgia Tech for running into Stuckey negated the turnover, thus giving it back to Clemson.

Two plays after that, Whitehurst threw a screen pass to Aaron Kelly, who promptly dropped it. The ruling on the field was that it was a lateral pass and that it was a fumble, which Georgia Tech recovered.

But this time, the replay worked in Clemson's favor as the play was overturned by the replay booth and ruled an incomplete pass.

On the very next play, Whitehurst was sacked and fumbled, which was recovered by Georgia Tech for the second lost fumble of the quarter for the Tigers.

Whitehurst also fumbled in the second quarter to give Clemson three lost fumbles in the first half.

Quick hits
Tailback James Davis, who sustained a fractured wrist against N.C. State on Oct. 13, and subsequently had a rod placed in his arm, played sparingly in the first half. He finished with one carry for one yard. … Tight end Cole Downer also got playing time in the first quarter. In fact, he made played on the first series of the game. He hadn't played since rupturing his spleen on Sept. 17. …

In the second quarter, safety Jamaal Fudge makes two big-time sticks, one on Calvin Johnson, which knocked the star receiver's helmet off, and another on a third-and-1 run on running back Tashard Choice, which resulted in no gain. Johnson said after the game that his head was still ringing. … There were no injuries.

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