Quarterback Controversy?

CLEMSON – Sure, Will Proctor threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in his first-ever start in a convincing 49-20 victory against Duke Saturday, but that doesn't mean there's a quarterback controversy. Or does it?

Following the game, a few players said they wouldn't mind seeing the red-shirt junior get the start next week against Florida State over veteran Charlie Whitehurst.

"We have a lot more confidence in him," tailback Reggie Merriweather said. "Charlie used to scramble. He's not much of a scrambler now. But Will, he'll run out of the pocket. And when we need a big play, we always look for Will, because he'll throw it deep. He doesn't take any hesitation. He doesn't think about it and doesn't panic, and that's what you're supposed to do. So we have a lot of confidence in him."

However, Tigers head coach Tommy Bowden said there is no controversy. If Whitehurst is healthy, he'll play, end of story.

"There's no doubt in the decision," he said. "I know exactly what I'm doing, if Charlie comes back and practices, he starts. It all depends on practice time."

When informed of what some of the players had said, Bowden paid them no attention.

"That's why they're players," he said. "They don't know. That's why they're players. They just say stuff and they talk."

Offensive coordinator Rob Spence, who wanted to play Proctor last week against Georgia Tech but was overruled by Bowden, said it was up to Bowden on who starts, even though Bowden has stated that he wouldn't overrule Spence again.

"That's probably a question to ask our head football coach," Spence said. "It has more to do with Charlie's health and those issues than anything. …

"There's always something to be said with going with the hot hand, but I don't think that has anything to do with this particular situation right now. … To be honest with you, I haven't even thought about it. Based on how I felt last week, I'm just going to enjoy this."

Whitehurst downplayed whether there is or would be a controversy for the starting job, but he was also quick to give Proctor plenty of praise for his performance.

"He definitely went out there and did as good as he could have done," he said. "I think he showed you guys that he can play."

Proctor said whether he starts against Florida State or doesn't do it again until next season, he said he believes he gave the fans and coaching staff a preview of things to come.

"Yeah, I hope so, if we can win like that," he said. "One of the most underrated stats is wins and losses. You can talk about pass completions and all those percentages and things like that, but the most important thing is winning and we need to keep doing that."

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