DURHAM, N.C- Former South Florence High School standout Morgan Woodward reeled in his second touchdown of the season against Duke, scoring on an eight-yard pass from Woodrow Dantzler with 7:37 remaining in the second quarter.
“Actually, that was the same play that I scored on in The Citadel game. It just happened to work out the same way,” said Woodward. The junior tight end went on to finish the game with two catches for 29 yards.
After serving as a walk-on for the past three years, Woodward earned a scholarship for 2000- a fact that isn’t lost on his teammates.
“Morgan is a great guy. I mean, he came in as a walk-on, works hard, never complains so now he’s reaping the benefits of his hard work,” said Dantzler.
“It just makes you feel good for him. You see how far he’s come. As hard as he’s worked from being a walk-on to now being on scholarship, it’s good for him.”
+ For the fourth straight week, Dantzler put up impressive numbers on the ground, rushing for 134 yards on 22 carries against Duke. Despite his rushing performance, Dantzler was less than pleased with his passing against the Blue Devils. The junior connected on 11-19 passes for 174 yards and consistently under threw deep balls to wide-out Rod Gardner.
“Basically, I missed a lot of assignments, lack of concentration, inconsistency. Things like that,” Dantzler said.
“His throwing was off today; it was probably the worst that he’s thrown the deep balls,” said head coach Tommy Bowden.
“He had a couple more mistakes that the coaching staff saw during the course of the game but it was good performance by him and I think that he has some more in him.”
Regardless, Duke coach Carl Franks was still impressed by the Tiger quarterback’s athletic ability.
“We had him a few times and he ran right through us. At times, it looked like a game of flag football. He’s a tremendous athlete and we knew we would have problems with him,” said Franks.
+ Perhaps the only thing worse than Duke’s performance on Saturday was the atmosphere surrounding the game. Wallace Wade Stadium was less than ½ full, with the 16,872 in attendance mostly wearing orange.
“I’m from South Florence, so I’m used to crowds much bigger than this,” said Woodward.
“It was like getting up for a Saturday morning scrimmage and walking from the locker room to Death Valley with nobody in the stands,” said Clemson cornerback Brian Mance.
The Wallace Wade field has even taken its share of criticism this year. By halftime, the turf looked as if tanks had being practicing maneuvers between the hashmarks, with enormous chunks of sod littering the playing surface.
“When you tried to cut you’re foot would just sink into the ground. The field was terrible,” said tailback Keith Kelly.
“It was one of those conditions that you’re just going to have to deal with,” said Dantzler.
“Everything’s not going to be perfect. The ground was coming up and you couldn’t plant to well but it’s just one of those things.”
+ Clemson Sports Information Director Emeritus Bob Bradley was honored before the game for attending his 500th-straight Tiger football game. “Mr. B’s” streak began in 1955.
“500 never even occurred to me,” said the 76-year old Bradley of his streak. “I just have been fortunate that things have worked out for me. I’ve missed weddings and funerals and things like that for football weekends. I’m just glad that things worked out.”
Amazingly, Bradley has yet to watch a single Clemson game on live television. The Tiger’s first televised game was in 1957- two years into the streak.
Following the game, Bowden presented him with the game ball, and, despite having to walk with the aid of a cane these days, the wily Bradley could be seen loitering outside the Tiger locker room with the ball cradled firmly in his left arm.