NOTEBOOK: Harper Stands Alone

NOTEBOOK: Harper Stands Alone

DURHAM, N.C. – For all the talk through the first six weeks of starting and playing Willy Korn, quarterback Cullen Harper has quickly made those same folks forget about the wunderkind.

A single play in the second quarter put Harper's entire season into perspective as to just how good he's been this season.

With 8:34 left until halftime, the Tigers quarterback hit Aaron Kelly for a 19-yard touchdown that was their first touchdown of the game, but more importantly, it was the 22nd scoring pass of the season for Harper, which set the school's all-time record.

Entering the game, Harper had been tied with Charlie Whitehurst and Woody Dantzler with 21 touchdown passes.

"It's really an honor," Harper said. "It's a combination of everything and everyone."

Not all the success Harper is having is all that surprising. He looked good during the closed scrimmages during the spring and he's carried that into the season. However, very few could have seen this type of success coming.

Kelly shines: While Harper and the two tailbacks get the majority of the recognition, Kelly has quietly put together a very good season.

The redshirt junior entered the game leading the ACC in yardage and was second in receptions.

However, following the game Kelly stands very close to becoming the school's all-time leader in the most important category for receivers.

Kelly had two touchdown receptions against Duke, which gives him nine on the season. He stands just one touchdown reception away from tying Derrick Hamilton's school record of 10 touchdown receptions set in 2003.

"Breaking the record would be a big deal and it's a big accomplishment," Kelly said. "But it's a reflection of the team's success."

Quick hits: Clemson had 0 yards rushing in the first quarter, but finished with 152 for the game. … Oddest stat of the day belonged to tailback James Davis, who had 118 yards rushing on just eight carries. One of the reasons is because he broke free for a 70-yard run for a touchdown, which is the longest run of his career. …

Harper got his first career rushing touchdown on a three-yard scamper in the second quarter. … C.J. Spiller's 66-yard kickoff return for a touchdown just before the end of the half is the eighth time he's had a play of at least 50 yards, which breaks the school record of seven held by Hamilton. …

Spiller had a kickoff return for an 84-yard touchdown, while Marcus Gilchrist added one for 66 yards. Clemson entered the game 107th nationally out of 119 teams in kickoff returns. … The Tigers tallied three sacks, which gives them 15 on the season. The lowest total for a season since the stat started being kept in 1979 is 16, which came in 1980.

Over the last three games, Clemson has outscored its opponents 71-0 in the second quarter. … Michael Hamlin recorded his fourth interception of the year. … The Tigers finish 3-1 on the road in the ACC, which is the first time since 2001 they've had a winning road record.

Receiver Taylor Grisham left the game with 12:27 left in the third quarter with a concussion. He didn't return. … There were no other injuries.

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