April 10, 1999
CLEMSON, S.C. – Quarterback Woodrow Dantzler threw for Clemson Spring Game record 220 yards and two scores to lead the offense, while defensive linemen Terry Jolly and Freddie James led a defense that had eight sacks to highlight play in Clemson’s Spring Festival at Death Valley on Saturday. The 130-play scrimmage served as the climax to Clemson’s first spring practice under Head Coach Tommy Bowden.
The game was played in front of 16,500 fans, a Clemson Spring Game record. The previous Clemson Spring Game record was 15,000 for the 1978 and 1984 Spring Games.
The defense dominated the workout for the first half, while the offense was very effective in the second half. In all, the offense scored seven touchdowns, three rushing and four passing. The offense had just two turnovers, including no lost fumbles, in the 130 snaps. The defense was especially effective in rushing defense. Including the eight sacks, the defense allowed just 121 net yards rushing in 72 attempts.
The top rusher in the game was Vince Ciurciu with 12-38 and a touchdown. Javis Austin, back on the field after missing a week of practice while tests were run to determine the cause of some dizzy spells, had 12 rushes for 31 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns. The running back from Clemson who is destined to become the school’s all-time leader in receptions by a running back, also had two pass receptions for 28 yards.
Brian Wofford was the top receiver with 4-106 and a touchdown. That score was a 60-yard strike from Dantzler. Matt Bailey had his second straight outstanding spring game with 3-65 and a score. He had two touchdown catches in last year’s spring game. Rod Gardner caught three for 57 yards. Overall, 14 different receivers caught passes for the Tigers offense.
Dantzler was 11-25 for 220 yards and two scores and was also the second leading rusher with 11-31, giving him 251 yards of total offense. Brandon Streeter was 9-24 for 148 yards and a touchdown, a 19-yarder to sophomore tight end T.J. Watkins. Freshman Matt Schell had his finest scrimmage of the spring, connecting on 5-9 for 106 yards and a score, a 39-yarder to Bailey.
Kicker Tony Lazzara was also a highlight, hitting on three field goals in foiur attempts. He was successful from 33, 19, and 35 yards, and also booted 5-5 extra points.
Terry Jolly led the defensive front line with seven tackles, including six first hits. He was in on a pair of tackles for loss. Freddie James had similar stats with six first hits and an assist and he was also in on a tackle for loss.
The top tacklers for the day were Braxton K. Williams and Harold Means, who both had eight tackles. Means had two tackles for loss, including 1.5 sacks. Kenzi Ross added seven tackles, while Robert Carswell, Chad Speck, Keith Adams and Nick Eason had six tackles apiece. Alex Ardley had a 22-yard interception return and two passes broken up. Brandon Rouse had an 11-yard interception return.
The Clemson defense was balanced in terms of turning in big plays. Fifteen different Tigers had tackles for loss on defense, but nowone had more than two.
There were no injuries reported on Saturday.
“I thought the defense dominated the first half,” said Bowden, who will now get his team ready for its season opener on September 4 against Marshall. “They took charge the first half, but they passed the baton in the second half. It seemed the offense scored every possession in the second half.
“Overall, the offense closed the gap against the defense with this scrimmage. I wanted to have a dominant defense in this spring game. I would have preferred to see the defense hold the offense out of the endzone the entire day. This staff will make the offense productive eventually, so I wanted the defense to be dominant this spring. At times they were.
“Woody Dantzler played well at quarterback, he has made progress this spring and has closed the gap (in competition with Brandon Streeter) at quarterback. He has made some big plays this spring. Woodrow is capable as a runner and a passer.
“Overall, we will have competition this fall a positions. The freshmen will have a chance to contribute right away in a number of areas.”
Passing: Dantzler 11-25-220-1-2; Streeter 9-24-148-1-1; Schell 5-9-106-0-1Rushing: Ciurciu 12-38-1; Dantzler 11-31, Austin 12-31-2; Gary Johnson 13-15; Witherspoon 5-14; T. White 12-12; Brian Wofford 1-8; Matt Schell 6- (-28)Receiving: Wofford 4-106-1; Bailey 3-65; Gardner 3-57; Lawyer 3-26; Austin 2-28; Seth 2-25; Robinson 1-42; Koon 1-24; W. White 1-20; Watkins 1-19-1; Ciurciu 1-18; Watts 1-17; Witherspoon 1-14; LeMay 1-13
Tackles: Braxton Williams 8, Means 8, Ross 7, James 7, Jolly 7, Eason 6, Carswell 6, Reames 6, Adams 6Sacks: Means 1.5-13; Adams 1-8; Childress 1-5, Bryant 1-11, Braxton Williams 1-1Interceptions: Ardley 1-22, Rouse 1-18PBUs: Ardley 2, Polite 2, Carswell, Speck, McKelvey, Means
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