Tuesday Clemson Football Notebook

CLEMSON – Due to the late game Monday night, the Clemson football team didn't practice Tuesday. Instead there were team meetings and film sessions.

There were also only three players that showed up for the usual Tuesday press conference. Here are some notes from them and head coach Tommy Bowden:

RISE AND SHINE: It was a tough morning for nearly every player on the football team. Many of them didn't get home until well after 2 a.m., because of traffic and then had to be in class between 8-9 a.m.

Starting quarterback Cullen Harper was one of them. He had to be at class at 8:30, Tuesday morning. But it was something he could handle after such a big win and a solid performance from himself.

"Obviously there is some stuff I need to work on," he said. "But overall, I thought it was a good, first performance."

When he wasn't lined up behind center, Harper saw himself at receiver whenever tailbacks James Davis or C.J. Spiller took over the quarterback role. Harper was quick to add that he's not just window dressing out there.

"I have some stuff (to do), whether it's to block or just do some other stuff," he said.

Harper also said that he'd like to catch a pass and that he thinks that more types of plays will be added to that formation.

However, there was one play when Harper was at quarterback that he acted like Davis and Spiller. On a third-and-17, Harper scrambled for 18 yards before sliding to the turf safely.

His thought's about the play?

"I'm just glad I slid after the first-down marker," he said in reference to former quarterback Charlie Whitehurst's premature slide against Georgia Tech in 2005 and Will Proctor's propensity to go down early.

Harper's remark brought big laughter from the media. He grinned, too.

NO RESPECT: It's all too common for sports teams from all ages and walks of life to use the Rodney Dangerfield approach and bemoan about getting no respect from fans or media. This Clemson team is no different.

For some reason, the Tigers feel as though the defense didn't receive the respect it deserved heading into the game Monday night and that all the hype centered around the defensive unit of the Seminoles.

Starting safety Michael Hamlin, backup defensive lineman Jock McKissic and Bowden each cited the respect factor as a reason why the defense was so fired up against Florida State.

As Hamlin said, "We showed the world."

RANKED: Clemson broke into the AP Top 25 Poll Tuesday as the 25th ranked team, but it's not something with which McKissic said he is concerned.

"I try not to look at the rankings," he said. "When you look at the rankings, you lose focus. But it just shows a little bit of respect."

BOWDEN QUIPS: Bowden had the jokes flying Tuesday during the press conference. Here are some excerpts:

On receiver Aaron Kelly, "To watch him run, he looks like Gumbie or spaghetti."

On Bowden Bowl IX, "I like Bowden versus Bowden as opposed to Bowden versus (Danny) Ford."

When the Fox sports television reporter out of Greenville asked if he was receptive to the idea brought forth by the coaches about moving Davis and Spiller to quarterback, Bowden replied, "You mean when I approached them? I'm sure they liked it. They liked it if they like working here."

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