Tar Heels Dominate Tigers on Homecoming, 38-3
UNC held Dantzler to only 43 yards rushing and 73 yards passing.
CLEMSON - Just as in Clemson's previous two games, Saturday's matchup with North Carolina featured plenty of dazzling runs and deep passes from the quarterback spot.
Only this time, it wasn't Woody Dantzler.
Quarterbacks Ronald Curry and Darian Durant combined for 299 total yards Saturday - 90 more than the entire Clemson offense - leading North Carolina to a decisive 38-3 victory over the No. 13 Tigers at Death Valley.
The win continues a remarkable turnaround for John Bunting's Tar Heels. After starting 0-3, UNC now has reeled off five consecutive wins and appears to have the inside track on second place in the conference, perhaps first if Maryland slips up and loses twice in conference.
"I did not expect as complete a game as we played today," Bunting said. "We are playing with a lot of emotion right now and the guys have developed a great deal of camaraderie and chemistry. After halftime we played like a team that was behind. We came out and played aggressively..."
The Tar Heels' quarterback duo looked more like Dantzler than he did, accounting for big play after big play against the shell-shocked Clemson defense. Curry rushed for 82 yards and threw for 109 and a touchdown before leaving in the third quarter with a strained hamstring.
Durant, the freshman from Florence, was a perfect 11-for-11 passing for 97 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for nine yards and another score in his first game back in his home state
"(North Carolina) played really well," said Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden. "I can see why they are nationally ranked and why they've had success in the last few games. You have to give them credit. They had a good plan."
Meanwhile, the North Carolina (5-3, 4-1) defense put the clamp on Dantzler early and refused to let up. Dantzler finished with just 116 yards of total offense (73 passing, 43 rushing), and completed just 10-of-25 passes and threw one interception - a ball batted out of the air and picked off by defensive end Julius Peppers.
Dantzler was pulled with :13 left in the third quarter in favor of Wille Simmons. Simmons fared no better, completing just 4-of-21 passes. Both quarterbacks were victimized by dropped passes all afternoon.
"Our ability to contain Dantzler is a tribute to the guys working together," said Bunting. "There was no special scheme; we just attacked the blocks with vision on the ball-carrier."
"We didn't hold anything back, and I don't think we're as bad as we looked," Bowden said. "I don't know if we're as good as we thought we were going into the game."
The Tar Heels took control on the possession following Peppers' interception at the Clemson 22.
On third and 10, Durant threw a 22-yard scoring pass to Bosley Allen in the corner of the end zone for a 14-3 lead. The margin reached 21-3 later in the quarter when Curry found Allen alone in the middle of the field for a 48-yard touchdown.
Durant added two touchdown runs in the third quarter (5, 1), and Jeff Reed closed out the scoring with a 32-yard field goal in the fourth.
North Carolina finished with 425 yards total offense, leaving Clemson defensive coordinator Reggie Herring searching for answers.
"It might be getting time defensively for us to put some guys on the shelf and start working freshmen," Herring said. "I don't want to say totally, because I still think we have some glue in our front seven that can get better and improve. But there are other places, obvious places..."
Clemson's (4-2, 2-2) lone score was a 48-yard field goal by Aaron Hunt in the second quarter.
1 2 3 4 F
- - - - --
North Carolina 7 14 14 3 38
Clemson (15) 3 0 0 0 3 FINAL
North Carolina-An Williams 4 run (Reed kick)
Clemson-FG Hunt 48
North Carolina-Allen 22 pass from Durant (Reed kick)
North Carolina-Allen 48 pass from R Curry (Reed kick)
North Carolina-Durant 5 run (Reed kick)
North Carolina-Durant 1 run (Reed kick)
North Carolina-FG Reed 32
North Carolina Clemson
First downs 22 18
Rushed-yards 54-219 28-65
Passing yards 206 144
Sacked-yards lost 1-3 3-12
Return yards 4 8
Passes 14-18-0 14-46-2
Punts 4-37.8 7-40.7
Fumbles-lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 8-86 9-76
Time of possession 33:08 26:52
RUSHING: North Carolina-An Williams 23-91, R Curry 8-82, Jo
Lewis 7-26, Parker 7-16, Durant 4-6, Russell 1-2, Team 4-minus
4. Clemson-Dantzler 12-43, Zachery 10-23, Simmons 4-15, Rambert
1-minus 3, Currie 1-minus 13.
PASSING: North Carolina-Durant 11-11-0-97, R Curry 3-7-0-109.
Clemson-Dantzler 10-25-1-73, Simmons 4-21-1-71.
RECEIVING: North Carolina-Aiken 5-82, Allen 4-100, Bailey 2-13,
Borders 1-9, Hilton 1-5, An Williams 1-minus 3. Clemson-Currie
5-59, Zachery 4-33, Mckelvey 3-24, Reames 1-19, Robinson 1-9.
UNC 7, Clemson 0
Scoring Drive: 6 plays, 80 yards in 2:20.
Scoring Play: Andre Williams' 4-yard run at 6:38.
Key Play: Ronald Curry's 36-yard pass to Sam Aiken to the Clemson 9.
UNC 7, Clemson 3
Scoring Drive: 9 plays, 48 yards in 4:02.
Scoring Play: Aaron Hunt's 48-yard field goal at 2:41.
Key Play: Illegal participation penalty on UNC on third down from Clemson 35 to
keep drive alive.
UNC 14, Clemson 3
Scoring Drive: 3 plays, 22 yards in 1:34.
Scoring Play: Darian Durant's 22-yard pass to Bosley Allen at 12:40.
Key Play: Peppers interception to give UNC possession at CU 22.
UNC 21, Clemson 3
Scoring Drive: 7 plays, 80 yards in 2:29.
Scoring Play: Curry's 48-yard pass to Allen at 7:29.
Key Play: Scoring Play.
UNC 28, Clemson 3
Scoring Drive: 10 plays, 80 yards in 4:01.
Scoring Play: Durant's 5-yard quarterback draw at 5:06.
Key Play: Durant's 22-yard pass to Allen to CU 3.
UNC 35, Clemson 3
Scoring Drive: 9 plays, 54 yards in 4:10.
Scoring Play: Durant 1-yard run at :13.
Key Play: Durant's 10-yard pass to Aiken to the CU 14.
UNC 38, Clemson 3
Scoring Drive: 13 plays, 54 yards in 7:40.
Scoring Play: Reed's 32-yard field goal at 5:07.
Key Play: None