COLLEGE PARK, MD - One might refer to Woodrow Dantzler as a weapon on offense, but that would be like describing a Ferarri as a simple automobile.
On Saturday against Maryland, Dantzler showed that he is the offensive equivalent to a nuclear warhead, racking up a Clemson record 415-yards in total offense as the Tigers blitzed the Terrapins for the seventh year in a row, 42-30.
“I don’t think I would have had the foresite to have seen what I did today,” said Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden of his sophomore quarterback’s performance.
Truth be told, no one could have predicted what Dantzler would do on Saturday afternoon, with the possible exception of Dantzler himself.
“I could do it all day long. I could go forever,” said Dantzler after throwing for 252-yards and running for 183.
While the offense sparkled, amassing a whopping 542-yards of offense, the game was tight through three quarters as the Clemson defense allowed the Terrapins huge chunks of yardage on the ground.
The Tigers came out of the gate slowly, going three and out on their first possession. The Terrapins wasted no time asserting themselves offensively, drawing first blood with a punishing 11-play drive culminating in LaMont Jordan’s four-yard touchdown run. All but 7 of the 46 yards of the Terrapin drive came on the ground as the Tigers defense struggled to contain the run for the second week in a row.
After the Maryland score, the Woodrow Dantzler show officially began as the Tigers marched 80 yards on eleven plays, with Dantzler sprinting into the end zone on a quarterback draw from 23-yards out for the score. Dantlzer accounted for 71-yards of the drive, picking up 40 on the ground and another 31 through the air.
With the score tied at seven, Clemson regained possession at the Maryland 49-yard line. After the Terrapins were penalized 15-yards for a late hit on Dantzler, Clemson used a quick pass to Rod Gardner and a pair of runs by Travis Zachery to move to the Maryland eleven. On third and one at the eleven, Zachery bulled his way in for the touchdown. Tony Lazzara’s PAT was good and the Tigers led, 14-7.
Jordan struck again for the Terrapins one minute later when he shook of two Tiger tacklers and sprinted down the right sideline for a 49-yard touchdown. Brian Kopka’s extra point tied the game at 14.
The fireworks continued on Clemson’s next possession when Dantzler again broke loose on a quarterback draw, this time from deep inside Clemson territory for 46-yards. Three plays later, Dantzler found Gardner for 29-yards to the Maryland five. Zachery finished off the drive with a one-yard dive and Clemson led 21-14.
After a late first-half field goal, Maryland took their opening drive
80-yards in only four plays, with Jordan again burning the Tigers from 17-yards out, giving the Terrapins what would be their final lead, 24-21.
Dantzler and Gardner hooked up for their second of three long strikes on a deep post for 44-yards. Zachery finished up the drive with a thirteen-yard touchdown run, his third of the day.
In his first appearance of the season, freshman tailback Bernard Rambert provided the Tigers with their final two touchdowns on runs of three yards and one yard.
The Terrapins added a touchdown late in the game to make the final 42-30.
With the win Tigers improved to 3-3 overall (3-1 ACC) and next play Florida State in Death Valley Saturday night.