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ACC briefs

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 10, 2000


Clemson nearly perfect in destroying Missouri CLEMSON, S.C. -- Clemson coach Tommy Bowden praised his offense and defense Saturday after his team's most prolific performance in almost 19 years: a 62-9 rout of Missouri.

Woodrow Dantzler threw two touchdowns and ran for a third and Clemson's defense forced three fumbles and three interceptions that led to 27 points.

"Any time you get six turnovers, the score has the opportunity to get out of hand," Bowden said.

The game got ugly late in the second quarter, when Clemson began an 8:33 stretch in which it outscored Missouri 34-0.

Dantzler put Clemson up 21-9 with a 38-yard touchdown pass to Rod Gardner with 2:27 left in the half. With just a five-point lead, Clemson went for it on fourth and 5, and Gardner broke two tackles on the way to the end zone.

"He just wants the ball," Dantzler said of Gardner, saying the receiver had been unfairly criticized as being unable to produce after the catch.

"I guess he showed today he can break the tackle, get free and run away from a couple of people, and then he can go and make the big play."

Gardner finished with four catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns.

"He's our best guy," Bowden said of Gardner. "When it's fourth and 5 to win the game, to continue the drive, you throw it to Rod Gardner."

Two plays later, Clemson's Freddie James forced Zain Gilmore to fumble, with Clemson's Brian Mance recovering. Dantzler guided Clemson on a five-play, 27-yard drive, ending with a 14-yard quarterback draw to the end zone with 39 seconds left in the half. Clemson went into halftime up 28-9.

Missouri's Kirk Farmer threw his second interception 47 seconds into the second half. Clemson's Charles Hafley caught the pass in stride at the Missouri 28 and returned it for a touchdown. Aaron Hunt missed the extra point, giving Clemson a 34-9 lead.

Clemson's Robert Carswell recovered a fumble by Zack Abron on Missouri's next possession, giving Clemson the ball on the Missouri 37. Four plays later, Dantzler found Gardner in the end zone for a 27-yard touchdown, putting Clemson up 41-9.

Farmer's third interception was caught by Mance, his second, setting up Travis Zachary's third touchdown, a 2-yard run that put Clemson up 48-9.

"The second half was a matter of turnovers. It was atrocious," Missouri coach Larry Smith said. "I think we lost it because we played sloppily in the second quarter and in the third quarter."

Clemson didn't score again until the fourth quarter, when Keith Kelly capped a 16-play drive with a 1-yard run.

Missouri lost its fifth straight on the road.

Clemson looked sloppy on its first possession, but Dantzler returned to form on the second as his Tigers went 81 yards on 13 plays. Zachary punched it in from the 1.

Two minutes later, Clemson's Alex Ardley tackled Missouri punter Jared Gilpin on the 4, setting up Zachary's 1-yard run.

UNC 35, WAKE FOREST 14: Julius Peppers returned a fumble 12 yards for a touchdown and Bosley Allen had two long scoring plays in the fourth quarter to help seal the win for the host Tar Heels.

North Carolina held the Demon Deacons to 162 total yards, including minus-2 yards rushing in winning its sixth straight at Groves Stadium.

Wake Forest is 0-2 for the first time since 1995 after allowing 25 unanswered points in the second half.

Peppers, a 6-foot-6 defensive end who also helped North Carolina to the Final Four in basketball, teamed with linebacker Sedrick Hodge on a play that turned the game around early in the third quarter.

North Carolina trailed 14-10 when Hodge stripped Jamie Scott in the backfield. Peppers scooped it up and raced untouched into the end zone with 11:13 left in the third quarter.

VIRGINIA 34, RICHMOND 6: Dan Ellis accounted for 336 total yards and two touchdowns, and the Cavaliers defense turned in a dominating performance against the Division I-AA Spiders.

Host Virginia did not allow Richmond into Cavaliers territory until 1:53 remained in the third quarter.

The Spiders picked up a first down on an offsides penalty on their first possession but couldn't get another until TyRonne Turner broke loose for 12 yards with less than two minutes left in the half.

Ellis, known more for his arm, got it done with his feet as well. He scored one first-half touchdown on a 3-yard option run, and he set up David Greene's 38-yard field goal by breaking a tackle, reversing field and running 22 yards before being collared from behind by Chad Blackstock.

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