On the Record: Cullen Harper

CLEMSON - With Wake Forest coming to town and the opportunity to play for an ACC Championship on the line, it's just another day for Clemson's new single-season record holder for touchdown passes thrown.

With 8:34 left until halftime last weekend against Duke, Cullen Harper hit Aaron Kelly for a 19-yard touchdown to give the Tigers a 10-7 lead. While the scoring pass was important in the outcome of the game, it was also important to Harper.


Well, it was the 22nd touchdown pass thrown this season and it broke the old mark of 21 set by Charlie Whitehurst and Woody Dantzler. He would later add another scoring pass to Kelly to increase his season total to 23- with three games remaining.

Even more impressive is the fact that Harper is also on his way to leading the Tigers to the ACC Championship game next month, provided of course Clemson wins its next two games.

For the season, Harper has completed 187-of-227 passes for 2,166 yards, 23 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He is also second in the ACC in passing (240 yards/game) and first in passing efficiency.

CUTigers.com caught up with Harper earlier this week for another edition of On the Record:

We've seen in years past Wake Forest do some things to limit the production of your offense. What have you seen of them on film this week that could give you some problems Saturday?
Harper: From what I've seen, and I haven't watched a whole lot just yet, but they play a lot of single safety type defense. No. 2 (CB Alphonso Smith) is a guy that really stands out and it seems like he is the emotional leader of their defense. He makes a lot of plays and seems to get their team playing at a high level. The bottom line is they are fundamentally sound. They are solid against the run and the pass so we know we have our work cut out for us.

For the season, Harper has completed 187-of-227 passes for 2,166 yards, 23 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
Do you think this Wake Forest team has finally gained the respect it deserves after winning the ACC last season?
Harper: Oh yeah they definitely have our full attention. In years past, teams have underestimated them because they aren't known as a national power, or as an ACC power but they really are. We know that. They definitely have our full attention.

This is the first time that Wake Forest will come to Clemson with it being a sellout game. What kind of atmosphere are you expecting Saturday and do you think that can factor into the outcome of the game?
Harper: I expect it to be exciting. It's obviously an early game so it won't be quite like a night game but it's a sellout and the crowd will be excited. Wake will have some fans here and they have a lot on the line this year as well. Obviously, with us being in the ACC title hunt and I expect it to be a great one. It should be a lot of fun

Knowing that you now control your own destiny, does that help you focus your attention that much more on this team and does it provide a spark in the locker room?
Harper: Yeah I noticed that Monday at practice. Everybody was coming out real exciting. We know what is front of us and we know we have our own destiny in our hands. It's kind of a different feeling when you know we control what happens. It's an exciting time but we have to continue to stay focused and take it one game at a time.

Not really much to complain about the last three weeks, but you guys haven't exactly stormed out of the gates. It seems to take a quarter for this team to really catch fire. Any thoughts there?
Harper: Not sure. Seems like we've been a little bit off during the first series. But we always put that behind us and we move on. Going into this week, it's important for us to get off to a good start and we know that and what's we plan on doing.

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