Dantzler and Tigers Carve Up Cavaliers, 31-10
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA -- The college football world doesn't know about Clemson quarterback
Woody Dantzler, yet.
Not like it knows about Michael Vick or Quincy Carter.
It soon will.
Dantzler tore apart the Virginia defense for 220 yards rushing and threw for another 152 yards to lead No. 11 Clemson (4-0 overall, 2-0 Atlantic Coast
Conference) past the Cavaliers (2-2, 1-1) 31-10 in front of 60, 695 on Saturday at Scott Stadium.
"Somebody in the media is going to have to start recognizing him for what
he's done," said Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden.
It's hard to dismiss Dantzler after what he did Saturday.
Neither Bowden or Dantzler blushed when talk of a Heisman campaign was
brought up. Don't expect Dantzler to do any campaigning, but it's hard for him to deny that what he did against Virginia puts him in the hunt.
"I don't know what the qualifications are to be a Heisman candidate,"
Two runs that will make most highlight shows across the country is a good start.
Early in the third quarter, Dantzler took a snap at the Clemson 25 and headed around right end. He raced toward the right sideline and cut toward the middle of the field at the Virginia 35.
He confused Virginia defensive back Ahmad Hawkins enough at the 5 to slip into the endzone to give Clemson a 24-10 lead with 11:39 left in the third quarter with his 75-yard run.
On Clemson's next possession, Clemson moved the ball to the Virginia 45 before Dantzler broke down the Virginia defense. He took off up the middle and broke toward the right sideline. He made it look easy as he ran toward the corner of the end zone to give Clemson a 31-10 lead with 3:00 left in the third quarter.
"He obviously ran the ball well," said Clemson offensive coordinator
Rich Rodriguez. "He's making good decisions."
Clemson led 17-10 at the half. Two fumbles by Travis Zachery, however, kept the lead from being much bigger.
On a punt after Virginia's first drive stalled, Zachery called for a fair catch while backpedaling near his own 5-yard line. He backed up too far and
had to lean forward to catch the ball. It slipped through his hands and bounced through his legs toward the endzone.
Virginia's Art Thomas was standing behind Zachery and fell on the ball at the 3-yard line.
Antwoine Womack scored on the next play to give the Cavaliers a 7-0 lead with 10:31 left in the first quarter.
The teams traded field goals before Joe Don Reames went in for Zachery to return a Virginia punt. He fielded the ball at the Clemson 41-yard line and wove his way up the middle past several Virginia defenders. He broke to the right sideline and ran into the end zone untouched to tie the game, 10-10, with 12:22 left in the first half.
Dantzler threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Jackie Robinson to give Clemson a 17-10 lead with 9:40 left in the first half. And the Tigers were going to add to the lead on their next drive. Clemson drove the ball quickly from its own 34 to the Virginia 3-yard line. On a third-and-2 at the 3, Zachery tried
to dive over the goal line but was hit. He ball popped out and Virginia recovered at the 2-yard line.
One linesman made a touchdown signal, but was overruled. It made little difference once Dantzler got going.
"When he's clicking, he's clicking," said Clemson linebacker Keith
1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH FINAL
--- --- --- --- -----
Clemson 3 14 14 0 31
Virginia 10 0 0 0 10
Va-Womack 1 run (Greene kick), 10:31.
Cle-FG Hunt 19, 5:10.
Va-FG Greene 38, :56.
Cle-Reames 69 punt return (Hunt kick), 12:22.
Cle-Robinson 30 pass from Dantzler (Hunt kick), 9:40.
Cle-Dantzler 75 run (Hunt kick), 11:29.
Cle-Dantzler 45 run (Hunt kick), 3:00.
First downs 20 17
Rushes-yards 43-327 36-111
Passing 154 170
Comp-Att-Int 15-25-1 17-39-1
Return Yards 71 11
Punts-Avg. 3-50 9-35
Fumbles-Lost 3-3 3-0
Penalties-Yards 5-37 4-35
Time of Possession 27:15 32:45
RUSHING-Clemson, Dantzler 18-220, Zachery 12-71, Rambert 8-28,
Scott 1-9, Gardner 1-3. Virginia, Womack 21-80, Ward 4-15,
Foreman 5-14, Mason 1-4, Ellis 4-(minus 1).
PASSING-Clemson, Dantzler 15-24-1-154, Gardner 0-1-0-0. Virginia,
RECEIVING-Clemson, Bailey 4-64, Gardner 4-23, Watts 3-17, Zachery
2-17, Robinson 1-30, Dantzler 1-3. Virginia, McMullen 5-59,
Coffey 4-37, Dotson 3-25, Baber 3-24, Mason 1-19, Johnson 1-6.