Dantzler and Tigers Take Out Tar Heels, 31-20

by - Correspondent -
<b><font size=-2 face=arial>Travis Zachery gained a career high<br>129 yards rushing on 28 attempts.</font></b>
Travis Zachery gained a career high
129 yards rushing on 28 attempts.

CLEMSON – Brandon Streeter’s out. Woody Dantzler’s in at quarterback.

In Clemson’s Ferrari of an offense, apparently it’s like changing gears.

Streeter went down, possibly for the season, with a broken collar bone in the first quarter. It took a quarter to adjust, but Dantzler led the Tigers to an impressive 31-20 win over North Carolina in front of 81,000 at Death Valley on Saturday.

“When we lost Streeter and Dantzler had to come in, I thought he was a little rattled at first,” said Clemson coach Tommy Bowden, who had handed the offense to Streeter before the first game. “It didn’t take him long to get his composure, and you can see what he did after that.”

Dantzler kept Clemson undefeated in the Atlantic Coast Conference after Streeter’s injury silenced the crowd at Death Valley.

During Clemson’s third drive of the game, Streeter scrambled to the right side and gained 13 yards before he was knocked out of bounds by North Carolina’s Malcolm Stewart. Streeter fell on his right shoulder, but nothing was apparently wrong until he collapsed after walking halfway across the field. He was taken to the locker room where x-rays revealed a broken right collarbone.

Streeter, who took a pounding at Virginia Tech on nearly every play, apparently fell on his own throwing shoulder on the play before. He will likely miss at least six weeks, if he returns at all this season.
Streeter returned to the sideline and stood by Dantzler, who completed the drive, which ended with an 8-yard touchdown run by Travis Zachery with 3:10 left in the first half.

Clemson led 7-0, but no one knew what Dantzler could do. He had played in just one game and had attempted just six passes.

After winning the starting job, the offense had been turned over to Streeter. Dantzler was strictly an insurance policy. Now it was Dantzler’s offense.

“When he went down I was like, ‘OK, it’s time to go in. Let’s go’,” said Dantzler. “When I first came in I was pressing a bit too much. I was moving like a hundred miles an hour. I was moving too fast for the game. So I had to slow myself down and move the offense.”

North Carolina answered Clemson’s touchdown with ten straight points, but Dantzler survived the first half. He led Clemson to a field goal with 17 seconds left in the half to tie the game, 10-10.

In the second half, North Carolina scored a touchdown on a two-play, 44-yard drive to take a 17-10 lead, but Dantzler answered

On Clemson’s next drive, after Zachery lost six yards on the first play, Dantzler completed two straight passes to Rod Gardner to tie the game.

The first pass covered 11 yards to the North Carolina 49. He then found Gardner at the 17. Gardner caught the ball behind North Carolina’s Jason Horton and ran into the endzone to tie the game.

On the second play of North Carolina’s next drive, Clemson’s Jason Holloman intercepted a pass that bounced off North Carolina wide receiver Jason Peace after he was hit by Dextra Polite.

Clemson took over the ball at the North Carolina 29 and five plays later Terry Witherspoon went in from the one to give Clemson a 24-17 lead with 7:50 left in the third quarter.

North Carolina’s Josh McGee kicked a field goal with 11:23 left in the game, but Dantzler put the game away with a quarterback draw that turned into a 56-yard touchdown run.

Dantzler ran up the middle and then broke to the left sideline. He slipped Billy-Dee Greenwood’s attempt at an ankle tackle at the 8 to score.

“He moved the football team” said Clemson offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez. “I think Woody can run the whole offense. With Woody in there we’re not going to limit the passing because Woody can throw the ball. There are some things that Woody can do better than Brandon and some things Woody can do better than Brandon and we’re gong to try to pare that down this week.”


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