Orange Bowl Review

by - Radio Host -

Orange Bowl Review

I was sitting around Sunday afternoon thinking about the last two bowl games and debating in my head which win was better.

Both were over the nation's number seven team and both were over two teams that have been in the national title hunt recently.  Both were big statements about where Clemson is in the national picture.  Both were pretty dominating performances and should have been worse than the scoreboard indicated.

The LSU win was more dramatic with the walk-off win.  It was against an SEC team.  It was against a ton of NFL prospects.

The OSU win was a BCS win.  It gave Urban Meyer only his second loss as a Buckeye.

In the end, I am not sure which was better and more fulfilling, but it is a fun debate.

What we witnessed Friday night was one of the greatest victories in school history.  It meant Clemson is the only team in the nation to beat a top 10 team in a bowl game each of the last two years.  The win was Clemson’s fifth win over a top 10 team in the last three years.  Clemson, Alabama and Baylor are the only teams in the nation to beat a top 10 team each of the last three years.

I was watching the game with Ryan and after the second series of the game I told him,   "Clemson is the better team.  Clemson is better at every position except safety, offensive line and running back."

Much like the LSU game, it took a ton of Tiger mistakes to let Ohio State back into the game.

I thought the game plans on both sides of the ball were very sound.  Ohio State had three new starters in the secondary, so Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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pounded the Buckeyes on the perimeter.  The Tigers continued to pressure Ohio State on the outside.

Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
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drew up a masterpiece on defense also.  He took away the inside running game and held Carlos Hyde under his average.  The Tigers also did a great job of keeping Braxton Miller in the pocket and took away his running ability.  If the safeties had not lost coverage several times, this one could have been a blowout.

The offensive star was Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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, who established Clemson and Orange Bowl records for receptions and reception yards in a game with 16 catches for 227 yards and two scores.   He held the previous Clemson records for catches (14) and reception yards (202) in a game.

Watkins also tied the Clemson record for touchdown receptions in a career.  He finished with 27, the same amount DeAndre HopkinsDeAndre Hopkins
Wide Receiver (2010 - 2012)
#6 6-2, 205
Central, SC

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.  Watkins set the Clemson single season and career reception marks.  He finished the season with 101 catches, 13 more than Aaron Kelly had in 2007.   He finished his career with 240 receptions, eight more than Kelly had between 2005-08.  Watkins also set the Clemson single season record for receiving yardage.  He finished with 1464, breaking the record of 1405 set by Hopkins last year.

Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Sr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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had a brilliant game if you take away two bad decisions that led to interceptions.  Boyd scored the first touchdown of the game on a 48-yard touchdown run that was the longest run of his career.

Boyd became the first quarterback in ACC history to have three seasons of at least 30 touchdown passes when he connected with Watkins on a 34-yard scoring pass in the first half.  It was his 30th touchdown pass of the year.  He finished the night with a Clemson bowl record of five touchdown passes and finished with 34 for the season.   Boyd finished his career with an ACC record of 107 touchdown passes and 133 rushing and passing touchdowns, which is another ACC record.

He won his 32nd game, tying the school record for wins in a career by a starting QB.  He and Rodney Williams (1985-88) had 32.  This was also Boyd's eighth win over a top 25 team, which also sets a school record.

Boyd threw for 378 yards, his 18th career 300-yard passing game.  He tied the ACC record for 300-yard games in a career.  Philip Rivers also had 18 for NC State from 2000-03.

I was glad to see Rod McDowell have a big night.  McDowell finished with 69 yards rushing to go over the 1000-yard mark.  He finished with 1023 yards for the season.  That gives Clemson a 1000-yard rusher, 1000-yard receiver and a 3000-yard passer in the same season for the third straight year.

Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
Jr. Wide Receiver
#1 6-5, 200
Calhoun Falls, SC

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finished his Clemson career with a great night.  The junior, who is foregoing his senior season, had two touchdown receptions, including a brilliant second effort.

Other offensive stars include Jordan LeggettJordan Leggett
Fr. Tight End
#16 6-6, 235
Navarre, FL

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, who had a nice 43-yard reception, and Adam HumphriesAdam Humphries
Jr. Wide Receiver
#13 5-11, 190
Spartanburg, SC

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, who had a terrific game blocking on the edge.

The offensive line played well enough to help the Tigers out-rush OSU 198 to 193 and average 5.5 yards per carry, compared to the Buckeyes 4 yards per carry.

The defense was led by great efforts from Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Jr. Linebacker
#42 6-2, 235
Polkton, NC

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and Spencer ShueySpencer Shuey
Gr. Linebacker
#33 6-3, 230
Charlotte, NC

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, who helped hold the Buckeyes to 100 yards under their average for the season.  The defensive line was led by Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
Jr. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-1, 290
Conyers, GA

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, Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Jr. Defensive End
#3 6-3, 225
Adairsville, GA

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, Corey CrawfordCorey Crawford
Jr. Defensive End
#93 6-5, 270
Columbus, GA

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and Shaq LawsonShaq Lawson
Fr. Defensive End
#90 6-4, 260
Central, SC

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, who did a great job of holding down Hyde and Miller.

Clemson's defense held Ohio State to two of 13 on third downs and forced four Buckeye turnovers.

So the Tigers had enough mistakes to lose but overcame them with a dominating performance.  Clemson finished the season with 11 wins for the second consecutive year, the only time in school history Clemson has won at least 11 games in consecutive seasons.  This victory was the 38th for the 2013 seniors.  That’s the most by a senior class since the 1991 group won 39.

The win was Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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’s 10th win over a top 25 team, and it moves him past Frank Howard into third place on the Clemson coaching list.   Danny FordDanny Ford
Former Head Coach
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had the most with 20 and Tommy BowdenTommy Bowden
Head Coach
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had 13.  Swinney has now beaten Auburn, Florida State, LSU and Ohio State in the last three seasons.  The Tigers are 9-3 against top 11 teams in their last 12 attempts.

Yes, Friday night was a historical victory.  It was a terrific way to end a season and the career of many Tiger greats.  Hopefully it is yet another sign of a building powerhouse.

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Prayer List

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Those who need our prayers include: Finn Brookover, Jo Ann Bachman, Kenneth Bryant, Pruitt Martin, Got Igers and his family, David Rowland, Leonard, Gillespie and his family, Jim S., Daniel Rosborough, the Huffman family, Nancy Winkler, John Reeve, Vinnie Brock, Kaitlyn L., Susan Miller, Joyce Harley, Steve Proveaux, Jeffrey Greene, the Hutto family, Sherl Drawdy, Caleb Kennedy, Teresa O'Connor, Matt Jacobs, Perrin Seigler, Candee Massee, Lindsey Jordan, Sam Catoe, Tyler Felch, the Nicolopulos family, "the Jacksonville, FL guys," Kim Sims, the Coyle family, Ryleigh Tedder, Steve Lee, Kelly Trakas, Jimmy Moore, the Thomas V. family, Emary Claire Young, Kitty Bowers, Julie Locke, the Scheider family, Lauren Kittles' family, Frank Gentry, Joyce Bussey, Stacey McKeown, Dale Childs, Larry Lentz, Jr., Carl Sharperson, Scott Hannon, William Perry, Tyler Swaney, Lillian, Mark Feit, David Frame, Chad Berry, the family of Matthew M. Watson, the Dowis family, Shervin Messer, Alan Putnam, the Olivers, Lee Tate, Ronnie Abrams, Eddie Greene, the Jackson family, Bill Vader, Jim Taylor, Tina DeWitt, Rock Horne, Christopher Tuten, Bobby Wayne Thomas, Emma and Danielle Carothers, Robert Ditty, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Smith, Dot Cartee, Ayden Mills, Millie Heatley, Lynn Martin and family, Michael Pinson, Jake David family, Angie Crowley, Ira, Mike Tolson, Poly Wells, Dr. Muriel Bishop, Jack Cunningham, Emily Jefford Meister, Zachary Stoller, Aaron Clackum, Pat James, Cortney Moore, William Moore, Angelia and Savannah Anderson, William Ross, Meredith Legg, Scott Johns, Frank Carroll, Brandon ThompsonBrandon Thompson
Defensive Tackle (2008 - 2011)
#98 6-2, 310
Thomasville, GA

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, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Clay Childers, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Gary G., William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders,  Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Amanda Peake, Danny Hammond, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, the Sturkey family, the Lance family, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, J.R. Ray, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Doug Bailey and family, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Harlan Sullins, Peter Laboy, Kat and Carlisle Jones, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Edward Easterling, Dawson Bourne, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Jack  Cunningham,  Mia Daughtery, Tee Senn, Jim Lanier, Bob Garrett, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Jeanne Thompson, Sean Rowell, George Parker, Levon KirklandLevon Kirkland
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and family, Catherine Sewell, Randy Davenport, Patrick DeStefanoPatrick DeStefano
RS Fr. Offensive Line
#71 6-5, 275
Spartanburg, SC

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, David Vaughn, Keith Dalton, and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families.

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