On the Record: Cullen Harper

CLEMSON - CUTigers.com sat down with Clemson quarterback Cullen Harper this week to get his thoughts on a number of topics.

After setting a Clemson record by completing five touchdown passes last weekend against Louisiana-Monroe, quarterback Cullen Harper is looking for another big day Saturday against Furman.

CUTigers.com caught up with Harper for a one-on-one interview earlier this week in another edition of "On the Record:"

Cullen I really thought you started to develop more of a comfort level with this offense last weekend against Louisiana-Monroe. Is that an accurate assessment of how you are feeling out there after you second game as the starter?
Harper: I'm definitely getting more comfortable. There was some uncertainity in me starting the first game and I know that. Obviously, how was I going to respond being the starting quarterback in a big time game on national television? I came out and I thought I was successful so that gave me more confidence and made me much more comfortable. I thought we had a good carry over into week two and that makes me even more comfortable with that is going on and with all aspects of the team- being a leader and also making throws.

You were telling me earlier that Coach Spence was telling you he thought you completed even more than the 20 passes out of 26 attempts against Louisiana-Monroe. Talk about some of those passes and what you need to do to achieve perfection in his eyes.
Harper: There were a couple of throws that I think I kind of forced a little bit. I could have taken some easier checkdown throws but I got a little greedy I guess. I wanted to make a throw downfield. You just have to take what the defense gives you. If I do that I complete 24-of-26 or something like that. I need to work on that - taking what the defense gives you.

The coaches said that they were going to throw the ball downfield even with a big lead and you guys did that last week. How important is that for you in developing your skills and building confidence?
Harper: It helps because you get into a rhythm. It's kind of tough when you don't throw the ball much and they expect you to make a big throw down the field when it needs to be made. Being able to stay in a rhythm makes a big difference. I think we went out and executed well in the passing and that should give our team confidence later down the road to know that we can make those throws down the field.

Tell me about Furman and what you've seen from their defense on film.
Harper: They are very fundamentally sound. They know what they are supposed to do and they do it. They run a defense similar to Virginia Tech with their "robber" coverage. They are going to be a solid defense. That's what we are preparing for.

Is there any talk in the locker room at this point about the ACC? It appears to be wide open and at least you've positioned yourself well by beating Florida State to open the season.
Harper: I've taken a look at that but honestly we are focused on Furman. We can't look ahead to an ACC opponent until next week against N.C. State.

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