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Clemson Again Has Good Backup Plan

October 22, 2000|From Associated Press

Clemson backup quarterbacks sure have a knack for making a name for themselves against North Carolina.

Willie Simmons, a redshirt freshman, replaced the injured Woodrow Dantzler in the second quarter and matched a school record with four touchdown passes to rally the fifth-ranked Tigers to 38-24 victory at Chapel Hill, N.C., on Saturday night.

Last year, it was Dantzler who replaced an injured Brandon Streeter and led Clemson to a 31-20 win over North Carolina.

But this time, the stakes were much higher. Clemson, 8-0 overall and 6-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, is one of five unbeaten teams remaining and a loss would have all but knocked the Tigers out of the national championship race. So when Dantzler went out with a bruised left ankle and his team trailing 17-0, Clemson looked to be in deep trouble.

But it turned out the Tigers didn't need Dantzler, ranked sixth nationally in total offense at 298.5 yards a game.

With Simmons in the game, the Tigers' high-scoring offense came to life against the Tar Heels (3-4, 1-4).

Simmons, who had thrown only 28 passes this season, entered the game with 6:33 to go in the second quarter and threw a "lame duck" pass on his first play --the ball appearing to slip out of hands and not close to any receiver.

Simmons went on to complete 10 of 17 passes for 228 yards with no interceptions. He threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Jackie Robinson and then hooked up with Rod Gardner on scoring passes of 20, 43 and 25 yards. The second touchdown pass to Gardner put the Tigers ahead for good at 24-17 with 5:25 left in the third quarter.

No. 6 Florida State 37, Virginia 3--Snoop Minnis caught two touchdown passes and William McCray scored twice at Tallahassee, Fla., as the Seminoles (7-1, 5-0) extended the nation's longest home unbeaten streak to 50 games. Florida State has not lost at home since a 17-16 defeat to Miami in 1991.

Minnis had four receptions for 131 yards, with his touchdown plays covering 58 and 30 yards on passes Chris Weinke. McCray had two one-yard touchdown runs.

Weinke was 16-of-28 passing for 274 yards in three quarters.

Florida State, which jumped out to a 27-0 lead, had 554 total yards, while Virginia (4-3, 3-2)--playing without senior quarterback Dan Ellis--had 199, with five turnovers.

Maryland 37, Wake Forest 7--Senior Mukala Sikyala, a surprise starter at running back, had a career-high 112 yards and a touchdown in 14 carries at College Park, Md., as the Terrapins (3-4, 1-3) ended a losing streak at three.

Sikyala started in place of LaMont Jordan, who has been slowed by a hip pointer. Jordan entered late in the first quarter and gained 86 yards in 10 carries, including a 44-yard touchdown run.

Wake Forest is 0-7 and 0-4.

Georgia Tech 45, Duke 10--Kelly Campbell caught a 47-yard touchdown pass and ran 41 yards for another score at Atlanta as the Yellow Jackets (5-2, 3-2) won their third in a row. Duke (0-7, 0-4) has been outscored, 288-68.

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