Whitehurst Proves Doubters Wrong

CLEMSON – After two weeks of speculation as to whether Charlie Whitehurst would or should start at quarterback for Clemson, the senior came out and showed that he and his sore shoulder are just fine.

In his last game at Memorial Stadium, Whitehurst, a four-year starter, completed 21-of-32 passes for 269 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

Even though he didn't say, "I told you so," to all his critics and doubters, his numbers sure did.

"I really couldn't ask for anything more," Whitehurst said of his and the team's performance in their 35-14 win over No. 17 Florida State Saturday. "I didn't think that it could possibly be bad today. I didn't think there was any way that we'd go out and get beat up and lose the game. I had faith that we'd come out and win."

With Clemson winning, Whitehurst becomes just the second starting ACC quarterback to have two wins against Florida State. The other is N.C. State's Phillip Rivers.

"Charlie's been awfully special to this program and been a great ambassador for college football and Clemson University," Tigers coach Tommy Bowden said. "I was very pleased for him and his family."

Whitehurst has battled a sore throwing shoulder since Boston College in the fourth game of the season. It kept him out of the lineup last week against Duke, ending his school record of 37 consecutive starts.

"If it's my decision, I probably play last week and maybe I can't play this week," Whitehurst said. "It's something that you put your trust in the coaches."

The shoulder was sore against Florida State, but he did all he could while on the sidelines to keep warm and limber. He wasn't about to miss his final home game.

"It was numb, but it's kind of hard to describe what it feels like," Whitehurst said. "You don't feel like you usually do. You've just got to keep it loose as possible."

As it turned out, everything went according to plan for Whitehurst. Even the entrance into the stadium went smooth. All the seniors were announced individually and got to run down the hill solo style. And when Whitehurst was announced, a thunderous ovation bounced through stadium.

"Running down the hill by yourself was nerve-wracking, to tell you the truth," he said. "It was something they told us yesterday that we were going to do and I'm sitting there for 24 hours just hoping that I don't fall. It's awesome to get a win like this in your last game."

That now brings us to this week and South Carolina Saturday. No quarterback in the history of the series has won four games as a starter. Whitehurst could be the first. But once again, there's no guarantee that he'll start. "It's funny, but that's probably the situation," he said. "Who knows? We'll see."

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