CLEMSON, SCWhile Florida State walked out of Death Valley on Saturday night with a crucial win, the Clemson Tigers left the game having earned the respect of the nation’s #1 team.
“They really played tough,” said Seminole running back Travis Minor. “They deserve a lot of credit because they were determined to win this game. They showed a lot of pride.”
At midfield following the final gun, Bobby Bowden credited his son for the Clemson game plan. The Tiger offense had the Seminoles guessing all night while the Clemson defense held Florida State to 356-yards, well below there season average.
“We were lucky to win it. Tommy and them did a better job than we did,” said the elder Bowden.
After giving up 35 points to NC State and 30 to Maryland, the Clemson defense put the clamps down on the dangerous Seminole offense. The Tigers held Florida State star Peter Warrick relatively in check, keeping the senior All-American from breaking loose for any big gains. After the game, Warrick refused to answer reporter’s questions dealing with the game as well as about his recent legal problems.
While Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke was disappointed in his performance against Clemson, the senior credited the Tiger defense for their tenacious play.
“Their defense played hard for 60 minutes and that was obvious. On the last play of the game I’m taking a knee and they’re still wanting to hit me. Those guys don’t quit and it’s a testament to their team,” Weinke said.
The Clemson offense struggled much of the night, compiling only 265-total yards. Woodrow Dantzler passed for only 102-yards on nine of 23 passing while rushing for 86. Despite his less than stellar outing, the Florida State defenders were impressed by Dantzler’s versatility.
“He’s another Joe Hamilton. He’s very versatile. Once you get the ball in his hands he’s like another running back,” said Florida State defensive back Tay Cody.
Seminole star defensive end Corey Simon backed up Cody’s assessment of Dantzler.
“We knew he was a great athlete, extremely fast, extremely mobile. He didn’t disappoint. We just had to come in and keep him in the pocket and force him to look down field and make mistakes, and he didn’t make many,” Simon said.
Florida State fullback Dan Kendra perhaps summed up the evening best.
“For a spectator, you can’t get more exciting than tonight.”