All the positive work Woody Dantzler did for his Heisman Trophy chances in the previous two games may have come undone Saturday on national television audience (ESPN2).
Dantzler completed just 10-of-25 passes for 73 yards and an interception, and rushed for only 43 yards on 12 carries. His 116 total yards is over 400 less than he had last week vs. N.C. State alone.
He finishes his career against North Carolina 0-2 as a starter, and in three appearances against the Tar Heels accounted for just 445 yards.
Dantzler was pulled with :13 left in the third quarter in favor of sophomore backup Willie Simmons.
- The three-point performance by his offense was the worst for Bowden in his 4 1/2 years as a head coach.
Saturday also marked the first time in 30 games at the Tigers' helm his team has failed to score a touchdown, and just the second time the offense failed to score in double figures during that time. The first was last season's 54-7 loss at Florida State.
- The 209 yards of total offense is the lowest output of his Clemson teams. The previous low was 211 yards at Virginia tech in 1999, and was the fewest any Clemson team has had since gaining just 129 against Florida State in 1998.
- After just two receptions in his first five games, freshman wide receiver Airese Currie had a team-leading five catches for 59 yards. His totals for the season now sit at seven catches for 156 yards.
STILL HOME SWEET HOME
- Even with Saturday's loss, Clemson's homecoming record over the last 31 years is 26-3-2. But the 38-3 loss was the Tigers' worst margin of defeat on Homecoming since a 44-0 loss to Auburn in 1970.
- The 38 points is the most for North Carolina at Clemson since a 24-19 win at Death Valley in 1980.
DURANT'S RETURN TO SC PERFECT
Darian Durant first game in his home state since signing with North Carolina was perfect.
Durant completed all 11 of his passes for 97 yards and a touchdown, and ran for two more scores, to lead North Carolina to a 38-3 thrashing of No. 13 Clemson Saturday in Death Valley. The Florence native split time with starter Ronald Curry in the first half, then took over exclusively in the third quarter when Curry left with a strained left hamstring.
Best of all, his magnificient performance came with nearly three dozen friends and family members in attendance.
"I had 38 tickets overall," Durant said in the tunnel after the game. "I had a few left over, but not too many."
Those who failed to take advantage of Durant's freebies missed what 84,000 others witnessed first hand - a freshman with remarkable poise making big play after big play.
Witness his 22-yard touchdown pass to Bosley Allen in the second quarter, which gave his team a 14-3 lead and began the rout. By his own account, whether he realized it or not, Durant described the read and execution of a veteran quarterback.
"I saw that they were in cover two, and we had Bosley going to the corner (away from the second receiver in the pattern)," Durant said. "I waited to see which one the safety was going to take, because both (receivers) were going to hurt them. The safety took (the other receiver) and Boz came wide open.
"I saw the safety sitting there cheating to the inside, and Boz was running forward. So there was no way the safety could turn around and catch up with him. That's when I threw it."
Durant's calm demeanor and consistent production seem to have comforted Curry, rather than threatened him. The two have become a formidable combination running the resurgent UNC offense to five consecutive wins.
For coach John Bunting, Durant's play is becoming old hat.
"From day one he has shown that he can play," Bunting said. "He continues to progress. The more he plays, the better he gets. He's a gamer and has a great presence out there."