Originally created 09/06/98

Tigers romp past Furman



CLEMSON, S.C. -- As expected, Clemson was too much for Furman.

David Richardson kicked four field goals and the defense held Furman to 133 yards of total offense as Clemson ambushed the Paladins 33-0 in the season opener for both squads at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Clemson looked good in all aspects of the game. The offense had 414 yards of offense, including 223 yards rushing on 51 carries. Starting quarterback Brandon Streeter was 11-of-14 for 183 yards, while tailback Travis Zachery and reserve quarterback Woodrow Dantzler combined for 27 rushes and 138 yards.

"The one thing that really excited me was our mental preparation," Clemson coach Tommy West said. "It was as good a mental game as we've had."

Clemson never gave Furman a chance from the opening kickoff and took a 20-0 lead into intermission thanks to its defense and former Orangeburg-Wilkinson star Woodrow Dantzler.

Clemson scored its first touchdown when former Daniel star Javis Austin scored from 1-yard out to give his team a 7-0 lead with 6:42 remaining in the opening period.

The Tigers' defense would get the ball right back as linebacker Adrian Dingle forced Paladins' quarterback Justin Hill to fumble and Gary Childress recovered.

Clemson capitalized on the turnover when Richardson kicked a 25-yard field goal to give Clemson a 10-0 lead with 4:42 remaining in the opening period. Richardson, a senior from Clemson, booted field goals of 25, 22, 39 and 24 yards.

"We felt comfortable coming into this game," said Dingle, who had six tackles, including three quarterback sacks in the contest.

The lead went to 17-0 when the ball was snapped over Hill's head on the Paladins' next drive and linebacker Chris Jones recovered in the end zone for a Tigers' touchdown with 3:37 remaining in the opening period.

Clemson led 17-0 before Furman picked up its initial first down with 1:59 remaining in the opening period.

Dantzler entered the game with 8:52 remaining in the first half and quickly made his presence felt. The red-shirt freshman was playing in his first collegiate game, but showed no fear.

Dantzler rushed 12 times for 65 yards in leading Clemson on an 18-play, 74-yard drive that ended with David Richardson kicking a 22-yard field to give his squad a 20-0 lead going into intermission.

"Basically, we had him running tailback," said West of Dantzler. "It kind of got boring there at one point. I kind of felt sorry for him because we had used the entire package we had for him this week."

During one stretch of the drive, Dantzler ran six times and passed once on seven consecutive plays out of the shotgun. He was booed by the Tigers' fans for running on 10 of the team's first 13 plays (the other three plays were runs as well) on the drive. They quickly came back to his favor after he completed a 19-yard pass to Rod Garner for a first down on his only pass attempt of the drive.

"I don't worry about the fans," said Dantzler, who didn't hear the boos. "I just came in and tried to do my job. It's not the Woody show. I've got five great offensive linemen, some great backs and some great receivers to help me."

The drive took 8:49 and was the second-longest, time wise, in school history. The longest drive was 9:34 in a 40-7 win over North Carolina in 1992.

Furman missed a grand opportunity to score its first touchdown against Clemson since 1961 when former Wagener-Salley star Des Kitchings caught a 50-yard pass to put the ball at the Clemson eight yard line with 13:27 remaining in the game.

The Paladins gave the ball up on downs.

"(Cornerback) Alex (Ardley) knew they were going to come after him," West said. "They came after him two or three times and they got one of them. But I'm going to tell you something, that's (Kitchings) a pretty good wideout. I think that kid is a pretty good football player."

Kitchings led Furman with two catches for 55 yards.

"It was the same thing that happened in 1996," Furman coach and 1973 Clemson graduate Bobby Johnson said. "We fumbled the football and they scored a touchdown. We put ourselves in a hole, down 17 points."

NOTES: Kitchings was selected to the Coaches' All-Southern Conference preseason second team. Former North Augusta standout and red-shirt freshman T.J. Watkins saw extensive action at tight end for Clemson and played in his first collegiate game. Former Aiken offensive linemen Neely Page also saw his first collegiate action at left guard. Furman reserve defensive end and former North Augusta player Hershal Pleasant was in on two tackles.