St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

Seminoles look out for No. 1

FSU faces Clemson with an emphasis on defending quarterback Woody Dantzler.


© St. Petersburg Times,
published November 3, 2001

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Florida State cornerback Stanford Samuels has a suggestion for how he and his teammates best can contain Clemson's multitalented quarterback, Woody Dantzler.

"We need a 12th man; a 12th man who has just Woody," he said.

That's not enough if you ask FSU defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews. He would prefer a baker's dozen against Dantzler, whose passing and running skills have drawn comparisons with Michael Vick.

"What you need is about six guys who can rush and about seven more who can play the pass," Andrews said.

The NCAA isn't likely to draft a special Dantzler Rule in time for the Seminoles' game against Clemson this afternoon at Memorial Stadium, so what will Samuels and company do?

Not that it's original thinking, but they will focus on Dantzler, who wears jersey No. 1.

Every defense is predicated on slowing down the Tiger with the powerful right arm and powerful legs. He has thrown for 1,483 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed for 678 yards and seven touchdowns. His average of 308.7 yards total offense is tops in the ACC and fifth nationally.

"That's good if they're going to focus on me," Dantzler said. "That means they're forgetting about everybody else on the team."

That plan, for the most part, has failed against Clemson.

Dantzler, a 5-foot-11, 205-pound senior, thrust himself in the Heisman Trophy picture after shredding Georgia Tech for 418 total yards and North Carolina State for 517 in successive games in mid October.

"When he's hot, he creates as much pressure on you defensively as any offense you'll play against," Andrews said.

Not as any other player.

As any other offense.

"Most teams dedicate a lot of attention, maybe 50 percent of the attention, to a 1,000-yard tailback as a rusher and maybe if you have a 2,000-yard thrower, he may get the other 50 percent of the attention," Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said. "In our case, that's one guy. He gets all the attention in the running game and the passing game, which is kind of unique. It kind of makes every performance that he has kind of unique if it's productive because he is the focal point of the offense until we have a young guy that steps up at a skilled position or back."

Bowden concedes it's a huge burden for Dantzler, but then neither has a choice. The Tigers have young receivers, and while tailback Travis Zachery rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season, he has gained 362 this season.

"The best thing to do," Bowden said, "is to get the ball in the best guy's hands and see if he can do something."

Those hands belong to Dantzler. Against North Carolina, a defense that shut down FSU, Dantzler didn't do much. He amassed 116 yards in a 38-3 loss. Then, most teams don't have a defensive end like the Tar Heels' Julius Peppers.

Clemson had Dantzler sprint out once and Peppers deflected the pass and plucked it out of the air, setting up a touchdown for a 14-3 lead.

While FSU's defensive strength historically started with All-American ends, that isn't the case this season. Nor are the Seminoles likely to resort to a "spy," one player -- a linebacker or safety -- dedicated to shadowing Dantzler. Andrews isn't a fan of gadget defenses.

"You don't get far away from what you've been doing," he said. "How can you get good at something in three days? We don't get far away from what we've done. We just try to get better at it."

The Seminoles' youthful defense has surrendered a large number of big plays. Last week, a couple of FSU players misplayed an option by Maryland quarterback Shaun Hill, allowing fullback James Lynch to burst up the middle for a 65-yard touchdown.

Hill is no Woody Dantzler.

"We've got to be very disciplined," sophomore linebacker Michael Boulware said. "With a guy like him, you've got to have a whole team coming after him and the whole team doing its job."

If even one player is out of position or misses a tackle ...

"(No. )1 may go to that good grass," Samuels said, referring to the end zone.

"He's one of those players you keep holding your breath every play thinking he's going to do something," senior safety Abdual Howard said. "If you don't do your job, it's really going to be magnified. He takes advantages of all weaknesses."

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk

John Romano
  • This is fast becoming a special World Series

  • College football
  • Seminoles look out for No. 1
  • UF refuses to overlook Vanderbilt
  • Winless foe poses threat for the Bulls
  • Owls present 'Canes their last breather
  • Small colleges notebook
  • Every game a thrill for Washington
  • College football notebook
  • Top 25 games

  • World Series
  • A mound of question marks
  • World Series notebook
  • World Series chatter

  • Lightning
  • Lightning loses touch
  • Dudley looking, but no deals done yet

  • Bucs
  • Abdullah proves he's something special
  • Miss is in the past, Gramatica says

  • Motorsports
  • The 'other' Wallaces get their shot

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report

  • Et cetera
  • Sports in brief

  • Preps
  • Tonight's games
  • Pirates steamroll Leopards
  • Warriors rush to win over Largo
  • Win secures 10-0 season for Jesuit
  • Panthers roll Eustis for their first winning season
  • Springstead seniors go out with a bang
  • Wildcats add SAC title
  • Pirates win, lose all in same night
  • Zephyrhills escapes again on late score
  • Pirates steamroll Leopards
  • Green Devils make the postseason
  • Barons overcome poor first half
  • Steadman sets mark as Sharks clinch
  • Plant goes out with victory over Robinson
  • Spongers stuff Eagles
  • Terriers get their wish
  • It's lonely in the front for Steier
  • Eagles squads land in regionals
  • Lemons caps career in sweet finale
  • Hillsborough football notebook
  • Pinellas football notebook
  • Hurricanes fall to fast Forest

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts