It's Not Over

CLEMSON - Cullen Harper appreciated what one of his professors was trying to do this past Monday. Trying to lift the spirits of his classroom, the Clemson professor tried to be encouraging to the class, saying "everything is going to be alright. There is a lot of football left to be played."

That made Harper feel good, then a student sitting in the back of the class yelled out, "well, you have a life, all I have is Clemson football and this is it. It is over."

Harper recalled shaking his head at the moment and thinking, "oh man, come on."

"We still have so much football to be played," Harper said following Thursday's practice. "Everybody is disappointed and people are saying ‘what is going on in Clemson.'

"We got beat by a really good Alabama team and we kind of let one slip away against Maryland. If we can learn from that, I think we will be alright."

The negativity around campus was so bad Monday Clemson center Thomas Austin called a player's meeting only in hopes of getting the team's focused on the task at hand and not what people are saying about them.

"The coaches are in their own little bubble because they are up here all the time," the redshirt junior said. "But we hear classmates talking about it across campus. We are hearing them saying fire this coach, and so and so doesn't need to start so it kind of gets down on you so I felt like I wanted to say something to the team.

"The coaches do a good job motivating us, but ultimately it has to come from us. We are around each other all the time, so I wanted to remind them that we just have to keep are eye on the goal."

And that goal is winning the ACC, which is very much attainable, but only if they beat No. 25 Wake Forest next Thursday night and then try not to slip up the rest of the way.

"We have a lot of football ahead of us," Austin said. "There are people throwing us under the bus a little bit, but there has never been an ACC team to win this division with seven wins so it is still wide open."

Austin understands the negative talk is impossible for the Tigers (3-2, 1-1 ACC) not to hear, but he wanted to make sure, especially the younger players, that those are not the opinions that matter. In the long run, it's what they think and feel that matters.

"I wanted to make sure we all kind of zoned it out and put our blinders on," he said. "We just have to keep our focus on the goal and not be distracted by what is being said in the media and that kind of stuff."

Harper and running back James Davis are two others that have reminded their teammates to not lose focus on the prize and what's at stake against Wake Forest. They both talked to the team in the locker room following the loss to Maryland.

"It was a very disappointing loss. It was a tough one to deal with. A lot of people were down," he said. "I wanted to make sure everybody knew we still have a lot left on the table and that we still have a lot of football left to play.

"Last year we lost two really big ACC games early on in Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech and then in November we were still playing for a chance to play in the ACC Championship game so I wanted to get that point across."

Day off. Clemson will be off Friday before gathering back Saturday for a specialty practice. They will also practice Sunday afternoon in preparations for the Wake Forest game.

Injury report. Clemson offensive guard Barry Humphries practiced for a second straight day Thursday, but was still wearing a green jersey, which means he can't participate in contact drills. However, he will not play in the Wake Forest game. Freshman safety Spencer Adams, who is being redshirted, suffered a partial ACL tear in his left knee during scout team drills in Wednesday's practice. Team doctors are supposed to reevaluate the injury next week. Adams says he will have the knee scoped in two weeks.

CUTigers.com Top Stories