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Dantzler, Single-Wing Offense Perfect Match

Dantzler, Single-Wing Offense Perfect Match

Oct. 11, 2000


CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – It’s an old idea with a very new twist. The single-wing offense, created by Pop Warner, isn’t supposed to work these days. Unless Woody Dantzler is running it.

“You know the defenses are going to catch up with it,” Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said Tuesday. “That’s when you depend on Woody’s athleticism.”

Dantzler, the fifth-ranked Tigers’ junior quarterback, has dazzled college football this season with his game-breaking plays and near-perfect execution in Clemson’s 6-0 start.

“We’re doing something not a lot of people in college football are,” Bowden said Tuesday. “Essentially, our quarterback is our starting tailback.”

Dantzler leads the Tigers (6-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) in rushing with 732 yards and touchdowns on the ground with 10. He also has gained 1,085 yards through the air and has thrown nine TDs.

He rushed for at least 100 yards and accounted for more than 300 yards total offense the past four games, gaining himself a Heisman Trophy campaign as Clemson has risen from middle of the rankings to the ACC’s top team.

“Their quarterback is a single-wing tailback right now. I don’t think there is any doubt about that,” Virginia coach George Welsh says.

Dantzler had his problems with North Carolina State’s defense, but still rushed for 103 yards, threw for 220 and accounted for three touchdowns.

“That shows Dantzler’s great playmaking ability,” said Wolfpack coach Chuck Amato, whose team lost 34-27 on Saturday.

And when it came to critical moments, Dantzler showed why he’s sixth nationally in total offense.

On third-and-4, with the Wolfpack down 7 points and needing a stop for one more drive, Dantzler took the snap and bolted right for a first down.

“I’m just doing what the defense gave me,” said Dantzler, sounding as humble as a single-wing runner in those black-and-white college football films from the 1930s. “Anything to help the team reach its goals.”

Dantzler could become the first college football player to rush for 1,000 yards and pass for 2,000. This week the Tigers face a Maryland (2-3) team they have not lost to since 1992.

“I didn’t know for sure he’d be this far along,” Bowden said. “It just seems his talents have really suited this offense.”