HARPER ON FIRE: Now ranked fourth in the nation in passing efficiency, QB Cullen Harper appears to be on the verge of a great season. In just three games Harper has thrown 10 touchdowns, with no interceptions and has completed over 72 percent of his passes.
When asked Sunday if Harper could do anything else through his first three games, Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden said, "Not unless there's four records out there. He's broke three in three games. With what we asked him to do against Monroe, he did. What we asked him against Furman he did. Then Florida State on national television against a nationally ranked opponent. He's done all we asked him to do.
"His game management has been really really good too," Bowden later added.
CONCERN ON THE O-LINE? With the rushing stats through the first three games of the season surprising low, and with five sacks given up Saturday against the Paladins, there has been some natural concern on the offensive line.
Bowden said three of the five sacks were the fault of the offensive Saturday. Another one was because a running back failed to pick up the blitz and another was because Furman brought more defenders with eight or nine men in the box.
However, he was pleased with the effort of the line in comparsion to last week's game against Louisiana-Monroe.
"I thought the line played more intense. We still gave up three sacks. We need to be a little more productive in the running game. But the effort was a lot better. I know it was five but I'm talking about three. They had eight or nine guys on the line."
Bowden also addressed concerns about the lack of rushing yardage. James Davis carried the ball just nine times for 58 yards against Furman while C.J. Spiller also had nine carries for -1 yard.
"One the reasons Cullen has been so productive is that defenses trying to take away the run," he said. "He and James don't have the stats right now, but if we keep throwing like we have there will be some running opportunities."
DEFENSE IMPROVES AGAINST FURMAN: After limiting Furman to 10 points Saturday, Bowden was pleased with his team's defensive performance.
"They did good," he said. "We still have missed assignments. Our tackling was better. We missed some tackles but not as many as we missed against Monroe. There were some solid hits out there."
EYE ON NEXT WEEKEND: Next week's opponent, N.C. State, ended a nine-game losing streak Saturday by beating Wofford 38-17 at Carter-Finley Stadium.
RB Andre Brown scored three touchdowns while freshman linebacker Thomas Barnes scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery to lead State to the win.
The Wolfpack were picked to finish last in the ACC's Atlantic Division earlier this summer.
Clemson has defeated N.C. State each of the last three years, including a 31-10 win in Raleigh in 2005.
QUICK HITS: Clemson is now ranked No. 15 in the Associated Press poll and 14th in the USA Today/Coaches Poll after Saturday's win. Bowden said of the rankings, "I've probably talked less about the rankings in my last 10 years as a head coach because they are so insignificant at this time. We've been here before but not been there at the end."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "The competition is really going to pick up for the remainder of the year. We'll see how productive we can be as an offense when we play more talented teams." - Tommy Bowden on the rest of the season.
Bowden Sunday Teleconference Notes
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