Final Orange Bowl thoughts: This one deserves a victory cigar

by - Senior Writer -
Is the last time Chad Morris and Brent Venables will coach together?

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – The fireworks that exploded during the national anthem prior to Friday night’s Orange Bowl gave just a small hint of things to come.

I scrambled down from my perch in the press box and onto the field just as Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Jr. Linebacker
#42 6-2, 235
Polkton, NC

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clinched the Orange Bowl win with his interception, and was trying to help take photos of the postgame celebration.

I’ve been in some postgame celebrations that were pretty amazing – last year’s Chick-fil-A Bowl and the ACC Championship win come to mind – but last night’s celebration felt a little different.

Maybe it was because everyone understood we had just witnessed one heck of a performance by Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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, and that last night’s game might be the last time we see him and some of the other juniors in a Clemson uniform. It was also the last time we got to see linebacker Spencer ShueySpencer Shuey
Gr. Linebacker
#33 6-3, 230
Charlotte, NC

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, and it happened on a night when he looked like he was on a personal mission to disrupt anything Ohio St. Braxton Miller tried to do.

Indeed, it was the last time a lot of those guys will be together as a team, and they knew it. As a result, they celebrated with a sense of relief and finality. Even the coaches seemed drained after the thrilling win.

One of the first people I ran into down on the field was Clemson great Jeff Davis, who was holding a victory cigar in his fingers, joyfully asking anyone that came near for a light. Once he found someone that would do him the honor, he embraced backup quarterback Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
Jr. Quarterback
#18 6-4, 205
Dublin, OH

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in a big bear hug and told him that it was now up to Stoudt and the other quarterbacks to take Clemson to the next level.

Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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and Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
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exchanged hugs, and Morris was asking everyone to please help him take pictures. I sat in the press box during the game and saw the reports that Louisville head coach Charlie Strong might be headed to Texas, and I wondered if Louisville would talk to Morris about the job.

It was also good to see Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Sr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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all smiles after the game – Boyd has come under fire from many Clemson fans for not beating South Carolina, and I’ve had several argue with me on social media in recent weeks that Boyd doesn’t count as one of the Clemson greats at the position.

Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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tried to put that to rest in his postgame comments.

"He put an exclamation point on his legacy," head coach Dabo Swinney said after Boyd threw for 378 yards and rushed for 127.”He holds every record in the book, won a BCS game, an ACC Championship and has taken this program to 10 and 11 win seasons. And he did it while doing everything with class. Whatever NFL team drafts him, they are getting a player who will change their team, who will change their clubhouse and will change their community. He is a man of unbelievable character.”

*How big was this win? Huge. Another loss in a big-game setting would have been cause for months of frustration and consternation among the Clemson faithful, and the national media would not have been kind to a Clemson team that lost its three biggest games of the year. This helps out the Clemson coaches on the recruiting front, because they can now go into players’ homes and schools and say that they ended the season with a win in a BCS bowl game, and knocked off Ohio St. in the process.

The two programs have gone head-to-head over several prospects the last couple of years – head coach Urban Meyer understands the importance of recruiting in the South – while the win isn’t likely to change the mind of recruits already committed, it gives the coaches an extra arrow in their quiver.

*Meyer grabbed Boyd after the game, embraced him, and then introduced Clemson’s quarterback to his entire family and anyone else in Ohio St. garb that he could grab.

*Sammy’s performance was eerily similar to the one put on by Nuk Hopkins in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Both players were juniors, and both saved their best performance for their last game. Hopkins made grab after grab against LSU, and Watkins almost willed his team to victory Friday. In case you missed my story, Watkins could barely walk out of the postgame media interview session.

*The infamous 3rd-and-13 interception thrown by Boyd late in the game was yet another reason why Clemson fans either hate him or love him. We asked around after the game, and it turns out he wasn’t supposed to throw the ball on that play. Obviously, the smart move there is to run the ball, chew up clock, make the Buckeyes take a second timeout, and then punt and pin them deep.

However, Boyd said he saw Germone HopperGermone Hopper
RS Fr. Wide Receiver
#5 6-0, 170
Charlotte, NC

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wide open and couldn’t resist. He took the gamble and was intercepted. Chad Morris rolled his eyes and said, “We never make it easy, do we?”

*It was good to see Morris stick with the running game throughout the contest – Clemson actually out-gained Ohio St. on the ground – and attacked the perimeter with the running game.

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Subject (Replies: 36) Author
Front Page Story: Final Orange Bowl thoughts: This one deserves a victory cigar
TigerNet News
I was EXTREMELY disappointed...
In state rivalry is the most insignificant game of season
rodney paulk would disagree...
Spurrier never tells recruits that he's dominated CU? BS!!!***
I'm sure he does.. the they say, "so."***
In state rivalry is the most insignificant game of season?
Did you even think about what you have written
Re: I was EXTREMELY disappointed...
I stated a balanced view rather than pure orange sunshine.
Re: I stated a balanced view rather than pure orange sunshine.
Re: I was EXTREMELY disappointed...
Re: I was EXTREMELY disappointed...
Re: I was EXTREMELY disappointed...
Spurrier's jab didn't rely on arbitrary BCS selection rules.
Typo. Sorry. Shoulda read that FSU is in the BCSNCG.***
Ummm... 2 SEC teams max allowed in BCS. Bama taken over SCar
Razzmatazz LOVED the announcers too!!! yep...
Illogical. Dabo wouldn't know what announcers said B4 brags.***
Re: Illogical. Dabo wouldn't know what announcers said B4 brags.***
Why do coot fans care so much about what Dabo says. He
Same reason Clemson fans care about Spurrier's comments.
Re: Same reason Clemson fans care about Spurrier's comments.
I also always disliked (but always respected) Spurrier.***
Re: I also always disliked (but always respected) Spurrier.***
Re: I also always disliked (but always respected) Spurrier.***
He's not a coot, just a sort of demanding Clemson fan***
Re: I was EXTREMELY disappointed...
Coach, don't blow your own horn. Great teams don't have to
Clemson Whinner
All that matters....
Excellent post and right on the money. Some people
Re: All that matters....
Great article. Should I be concerned, thought, that

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