Parker in the zone

CLEMSON - Kyle Parker was so deep in the zone he didn't even realize he was there.

Completing 10 of his first 10 passes, he finished Saturday's 34-21 win over Virginia 19-26 for 234 yards and two touchdowns.

"I didn't know what we started off as," he said. "I was just sitting back there throwing and they were catching the balls.

"I kind of realized, ‘Man, we're throwing it around pretty well.'"

Parker credits the offensive line for providing him with enough time to complete passes to seven different receivers.

"They were keeping them off me all day. It made my job easier," he said.

Offensive coordinator Billy Napier believes Parker continues to grow up with each week. Parker's solid play helps make Napier's job a little bit easier.

"The last two weeks have been his best two performances. There's still more out there for him," Napier said. "The decision making is probably what has improved the most."

For a second week in a row, Parker didn't throw an interception. This season, he's passed for over 2,000 yards. Eleven games into the season, the red-shirt freshman has 18 touchdowns.

He feels there's room for improvement.

"I think I can learn more. I'm going to go out everyday and listen to coach. I'm going to look at the defense as much as I can," he said.

Napier said Parker's preparation in the week leading up to the game has also greatly improved.

"He didn't get a chance to watch a guy do that over the past two or three years," Napier said. "He was stepping into a role--not only is he getting comfortable on the field, but he's getting comfortable in how he gets ready to play."

Heading into his first South Carolina game on the gridiron, he's had plenty experience with it on the baseball diamond.

Columbia isn't his one of his favorite destinations. From the sound of it, he's all in with this rivalry.

"I don't particularly like going (to Columbia), but we've got to," Parker said. "We're going to go there and try to prepare like we do for any other game. We'll come out and try to execute like we've been doing."

Even though an ACC Championship looms the following week, he's not looking past the rivalry game.

"There's a lot of tradition between both of the teams. I'm expecting them to come full force. They should be expecting us to play hard too," Parker said.

With Parker under center, Napier likes his chances, no matter who the Tigers are playing.

"He's going to prove to be one of the better quarterbacks in the country before it's all said and done," Napier said.

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