|COLLEGE FOOTBALL PACKAGE: Virginia, Clemson giving backup QBs a chance, too|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 12 September 2007 12:13|
Quarterback Jameel Sewell has been largely ineffective in the first two games and could see his string of starts end at 11 this week at North Carolina.
It doesn't help his chances at all that freshman Peter Lalich has played well in two appearances, even leading a game-clinching 15-play touchdown drive last week against Duke. He was 8-for-10 on the drive and capped it with a touchdown pass.
``Just however game situations and our plan of attack calls for it,'' Groh said when asked if Sewell would start Saturday. ``It's not about who starts and who finishes.''
So far, the left-handed Sewell has handled having to share the job well.
``We're just both trying to help our team get better,'' he said following practice Tuesday night. ``Some of the things he's good at and some of the things I'm good at.''
Lalich's play in a short time has impressed his teammates.
``Being able to come in there and kind of control your huddle and be poised and be confident in his ability and to be able to put the ball in places to get it to the receivers, you can't ask for anything better than that, especially as a true freshman,'' right guard Ian-Yates Cunningham said.
Cunningham said earlier in the year, he had to encourage Lalich to speak up in huddles. Then he found out that Lalich's team ran a no-huddle offense in high school.
``Now you don't have to ask him `What was that again?''' Cunningham said. ``He's more comfortable with the offense, more comfortable with his abilities, more comfortable in the position that he's in to be able to have a bigger presence in the huddle.''
At Clemson, coach Tommy Bowden won't rule out finding more playing time for his backup quarterback, freshman Willy Korn, even after junior Cullen Harper threw a school-record five touchdown passes in a 49-26 win over Louisiana-Monroe last Saturday.
Korn was one of the country's top high school quarterbacks at James F. Byrnes High, about an hour from Clemson's campus. He got his first collegiate action Saturday, completing 6 of 8 passes for 49 yards and rushing for a late 1-yard touchdown.
Korn is already a local favorite, and Bowden said Korn's performance last week earned him more attention - and might eventually earn him a regular role similar to the one Florida's Tim Tebow filled during the Gators' national championship season.
``That's something we could possibly have happen as we go on into the year,'' Bowden said. ``It's not something we would rule out this early in the year.''
Still, it might be hard to sit a productive starter in Harper, who was named the ACC's offensive back of the week for his huge performance against the Warhawks.
Harper has completed 68 percent of his throws with seven touchdowns and no interceptions in Clemson's 2-0 start. The first victory came against Florida State.
``We just happen to have another very talented guy who looks like he could possibly continue to improve and could merit'' more playing time, Bowden said. ``It hasn't been that way since I've been here. ... That's good for us that we're in that position.''
At Virginia Tech, freshman Tyrod Taylor will replace Sean Glennon as the starting quarterback when the Hokies play Ohio University at Lane Stadium.
AIR SUPPLY: Bobby Bowden and Florida State are heading to Colorado this weekend for the first time in his long coaching career, and Bowden said this week he's more concerned about the 10 p.m. EDT (8 p.m. local) start time than the mile-high altitude.
``It's past my bedtime, but not theirs,'' said Bowden, who is 20-6 in his career against Big 12 teams. The mark includes his 0-4 ledger against Oklahoma, as well as a 47-7 rout of the Buffaloes when they made their lone trip to Tallahassee in 2004.
``We won't pay attention to that altitude thing,'' Bowden said. ``I've been asked, 'What are you going to do about the altitude?' I ain't going to do a darn thing. We can't let that get into their (players) head. We'll breathe whatever they give us.''
The Seminoles don't head west until Friday.
TARGETED: Butch Davis is getting a quick introduction to all North Carolina's rivalries, preparing for his second rivalry game in his third game week in Chapel Hill.
Last week the Tar Heels renewed their series with perennial chip-on-the-shoulder school East Carolina, and this week brings the oldest rivalry in the South - and one of the oldest in the nation - when they play border rival Virginia for the 112th time.
``Everybody seems to be in everybody's backyard,'' Davis, a former head coach at Miami, said. ``I lived in kind of an isolated world when I lived in Miami. You're like outside the United States. Florida State's a rivalry, but Florida State's 13 hours away. There's nobody here that's 13 hours away. They're 13 minutes away.''
Duke, North Carolina State and North Carolina are all in close proximity.
While the series with Virginia is long-running, Cavaliers coach Al Groh downplayed the notion of rivalry games, calling it ``more of a fan issue than a player issue.''
BOUNTY OF BACKS: Georgia Tech has no shortage of running backs, which was evident in last week's rout of Samford.
Senior Tashard Choice, the ACC's leading rusher in 2006, usually gets most of the carries. But the Yellow Jackets also have sophomore Jamaal Evans, who ran for 42-yard touchdown on his lone carry against Samford and freshman Jonathan Dwyer, who rushed for 138 yards and three touchdowns to earn the ACC's rookie of the week award.
Don't forget fifth-year senior Rashaun Grant, who missed the first two games with a hamstring injury. He probably could have played this past Saturday, but the 15th-ranked Yellow Jackets (2-0, 0-0) weren't taking any chances - and didn't have to.
The backfield depth gives new offensive coordinator John Bond plenty of options heading into Saturday's ACC opener, a crucial game against No. 21 Boston College (2-0, 2-0).
``We've got a logjam of ideas,'' coach Chan Gailey said. ``We've just got to pick which ones for that week we are going to use and then fit the personnel. It's a great problem to have. It's better than having one or two options - it gives you a lot more options. And what you may see this week, you may not next week.''
AP Sports Writers Brent Kallestad in Tallahassee, Fla., Pete Iacobelli in Clemson, S.C., Paul Newberry in Atlanta and Joedy McCreary in Chapel Hill, N.C., contributed to this report.