Bowden Shows Confidence in Whitehurst


by - Correspondent -
    |

ORLANDO - Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden showed unwavering confidence
in
redshirt freshman quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, despite his rough
outing
Monday night.


Whitehurst completed 20-of-48 passes for 263 yard and a touchdown, but
threw
four costly interceptions. He was constantly harassed by the Texas Tech
defense, which sacked him four times and finally knocked Whitehurst out
of
the game with 2:10 remaining.


But unlike Willie Simmons' turnover problems that led to his benching
earlier
this season, Bowden said nothing that would indicate Whitehurst
wouldn't be
the No. 1 quarterback going into the spring.


"Willie's (turnovers) were fumbles, Charlie's were interceptions,"
Bowden
said. "I wasn't as concerned about the interceptions tonight as I was
Willie's fumbles, the way he carried the ball. This is just another
part of
Charlie's learning curve, the fifth start of his career and it was on
national TV."


NO SUNSHINE HERE


Clemson's last four trips to bowl games in the state of Florida have
been
forgettable, to say the least.


In consecutive losses to California (1991 Citrus Bowl), Syracuse ('95
Gator),
Virginia Tech (2000 Gator) and Monday night's Tangerine Bowl, the
Tigers have
been outscored 174-38.


Monday night also extended the Tigers' losing streak to BCS Conference
teams
to six straight. Last season's 49-24 win came over Louisiana Tech of
the
Western Athletic Conference.


SHORT STUFF


- Whitehurst's four interceptions were the exception, rather than the
rule
through his earlier starts. In his previous 166 pass attempts prior to
Monday, Whitehurst had been picked off just twice.


- Clemson's high ranking pass defense took a beating at the hands of
Kingsbury and Symons. Symons added 89 yards to Kingsbury's 375, meaning
the
duo combined for 464 yards on 39-of-52 passing. They also combined for
five
touchdown passes, while throwing just one interception.


- In what may have been his final appearance in a Clemson uniform,
Simmons
completed 5-of-8 passes in the final 2:10 for 56 yards. Simmons had
refused
to discuss his future plans until after the Tangerine Bowl, when he
said he
will sit down with Bowden and make a decision. There is speculation he
will
transfer to a Division 1-AA school in order to play a full senior
season.


- Kelvin Morris, playing in place of the dismissed Eric Sampson, had a
team
high 9.5 tackles and one of the Tigers' four quarterback sacks. John
Leake
had 8.5 tackles and a sack, while Rodney Thomas and Bryant McNeal each
got to
the quarterback once.


- The number of tickets sold for Monday's game was 34,987, which
included the
total of 24,500 allotted to the two schools. Just 21,689 actually
attended
the game.

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