Renewed focus

CLEMSON - Among a myriad of offensive issues, it's now been more than a month since Clemson has completed a pass with six points coming on the receiving end.

Kyle Parker threw two touchdowns in the 37-14 opening win against Middle Tennessee and three in the 30-27 loss at Georgia Tech. Thirteen quarters later, he and the Clemson offense are looking to put an end to the streak of three straight games without a touchdown pass this weekend when Wake Forest comes to Tigertown.

The most important thing Parker said he can do through this slump is to keep looking forward.

"What's in the past is in the past. I think having a short memory helps you with that," he said.

Unfortunately for Parker, there was no game last week with a chance to throw a touchdown pass. Instead, there were moments when remembering may have been a little easier than forgetting.

"It's definitely tough, especially losing going into the off week," he said. "It makes it tougher on everyone. Everyone feels the pressure a little bit."

Five games into his Clemson football career, Parker has completed 74 of his 152 passing attempts for 895 yards with five touchdowns and five interceptions. Thirteen of his completions have been for over 20 yards with almost half of those going Jacoby Ford.

Parker's last touchdown pass was a 77-yard strike to Ford with 4:57 left in the third quarter at Georgia Tech.

Even if it means taking some lumps now, offensive coordinator Billy Napier believes it will make Parker a better player in the long run.

"I think he's handled some games better than other. But I do think the more opportunities he goes out there and makes the decision, good or bad, is a step in the right direction," Napier said. "I think he realizes when he does make good decisions he could be a very productive quarterback.

"It's my job each week to prepare him for the defense that we see and try to help him make good decisions and be in position to be productive."

Practice last week saw renewed focus on paying attention to details in the name of being more productive.

"That's been a big emphasis on us," Parker said, "focusing on the little things—the little things we need to do to win. We've just been going back and redoing things that we haven't done right in the past."

Coupled with Coach Dabo Swinney's in-your-face intensity last week, Parker said the pressure was ratcheted up a notch at practice.

"That's the job of the coaches. To make the practices harder than the games," Parker said.

Parker said he's transferred the attention to detail from the practice field into the meeting room and looking for ways to gain an edge off the field.

Napier has taken notice.

"I've seen a change in his focus and attitude and attempt to do extra during the week," he said.

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