SPILLER'S NUMBERS DOWN: Star tailback C.J. Spiller has had a tough go of it through the first three games. On the season, he has 26 carries for 85 yards, which equates to 3.3 yards per carry.
The big disappointment for him came Saturday against Furman when he had nine carries for minus-one yard.
"I talked to him a lot about that after the Furman game," said James Davis, a fellow star tailback and roommate of Spiller. "I just told him that he's got to be patient. I keep telling him that right now we really need to get this passing game worked out first. That's one of the key factors that we need this year to help us win the ACC. I just told him that it will come. He came along at the end last year. I just told him to be patient and that it will come back to him. I don't think he's frustrated."
Davis said something Spiller is going to have to consider is changing the way he runs. Davis would like to see the sophomore be more north-and-south as opposed to east-and-west.
"Sometimes you've got to change your style," Davis said. "Sometimes you've got to lower your shoulder against some of these guys. They watch a lot of film and they see what you can do and they're trying to play the sideline-to-sideline."
TIGERS GETTING HEALTHY: The previous two games against the Wolfpack have been a nightmare for Davis.
First, there was the game his freshman year when he was on pace to do some serious damage to all kinds of records after having rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 carries. But wound up breaking his wrist at the start of the third quarter.
Then last year, he was sick in a game that almost saw the underdog Wolpack win.
"I just always feel like something happens against this team," Davis said. "I was sick last year and then I was hurt the first year. I just feel like something always happens when it's time to go against and play these guys."
CONFIDENCE IN HARPER GROWING: Tyler Grisham says people shouldn't confuse the hot start of quarterback Cullen Haper and that last season of Will Proctor, who was hot early and then fell completely apart by the end of the season.
Grisham believes they are vastly different types of quarterbacks and people.
"I know Cullen has a stronger arm than Will did last year and I think Cullen is confident in his arm and he's willing to take chances," the junior wide receiver said. "He takes chances, but there not stupid chances. …
"Last year, Will was dead-set on the mechanics. He was thinking too much. Cullen goes out there and he plays and has fun."
But other than arm strength and accuracy, the advantage Harper has right now over his predecessor is between the ears. Harper is confident and is playing like it. And Grisham says that needs to stay the same, which he believes it will.
"We all realize that Cullen has to stay confident because Will lost his confidence during the year. And that was evident. I think that if Cullen stays confident, he'll be fine. … Last year we all thought that it wouldn't happen to Will, so you never know."
Grisham used the current situation surrounding Harper and backup Willy Korn as an example of Harper's mental toughness. Even with all the talk from fans and head coach Tommy Bowden about getting Korn more playing time, Grisham said Harper is handling it just fine.
"I don't think it plays with Cullen, honestly," he said. "Nothing really seems to be phasing him right now, which is cool. Cullen has broken a record every game, so I don't know why all this talk is going on. Willy is great and his time will come, but hopefully Cullen will keep it up so Willy won't have to come in and Willy can learn and get better so when his time comes, he's even more dominant. …
"But right now, Cullen's the man and the coaches know that. Why bother in changing stuff around when things are going right."
CHRIS WADE UPDATE: Special teams player Chris Wade had a clean break of radius in his left arm against Furman and is set to undergo surgery Tuesday to have a rod inserted into his arm.
Wade said doctors told him that this procedure is the best of his for is fastest return. As of now, there is a possibility he could play against Georgia Tech in two weeks.
It's a tough pill to swallow for Wade, who only plays on special teams and had to wait his entire career just to get playing time there.
"It's going to kill me missing this week," the fifth-year, walk-on senior said. "I'll go out against Georgia Tech in a body cast if I have to. I finally get a chance to play and I get hurt in the third game. I'll be back as soon as I can. I'll tough it out if I have to play through pain."
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