Parker proves he's a player

ATLANTA - Kyle Parker answered some remaining questions about his ability as a college quarterback in Thursday night's 30-27 loss at Georgia Tech.



After a solid performance in the season opening win against Middle Tennessee last week, there were still a few unknowns.

How would he look like against ranked ACC opponent?

Would he stand up after getting punched in the mouth?

Can he show courage under fire?

The answers: very good, yes and absolutely.

"Kyle Parker, a freshman quarterback," said Coach Dabo Swinney.

"Are you kidding me?"

Aside from a few mistakes, Swinney called Parker a special player.

Self-admittedly, Parker was one of several young players on the team who didn't have much experience a hostile road atmosphere.

Sacked twice in the first quarter, he showed plenty of grit and guts in the face of a 24-0 hole Clemson was dug into before finding the end zone. Needless to say, there was quite an uphill climb ahead.

"It was only a matter of time," Parker said, before he and his teammates hunkered down and battled back into the game.

"It's tough when you get down that much. We did a good job battling back. We made a lot of plays and that really says a lot about this team."

Leading Clemson to 27 unanswered points, Parker finished with 15 completions on 31 attempts with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

His first touchdown went for 63 yards to C.J. Spiller, the second a nine-yard hookup with Dwayne Allen and the third a 77-yard completion to Jacoby Ford.

Parker said momentum shifted in Clemson's favor when Allen scored on the opening drive of the second half.

"After that, we got some confidence and realized that we should be here," Parker said. "We realized our team belongs playing with a team like Georgia Tech."

Crowd noise was definitely a factor all night.

"We couldn't use a lot of our package plays. We had to just call stuff and run it but that's what you get when you're playing on the road," he said.

Spiller told his quarterback that he looked like a senior, not a red-shirt freshman.

"You can't ask for a better performance," Spiller said. "If he can do that I don't think we'll lose another game."

The next question facing Parker: can he lead a fourth quarter comeback?

From every indication, he looks like a quick learner.


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