Instant Analysis: West Virginia 70, Clemson 33


by - Senior Writer -
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Orange Bowl Instant Analysis: West Virginia 70, Clemson 33

What went right: The offense sparkled at times in the first half, and Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS So. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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made some nice connections with both Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Fr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 200
Fort Myers, FL

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and Nuk Hopkins.

Andre EllingtonAndre Ellington
RS Jr. Running Back
#23 5-10, 190
Moncks Corner, SC

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ran the ball well and had over 100 yards in the first half half. He had a 68-yard touchdown run on Clemson’s second drive.

Chandler CatanzaroChandler Catanzaro
RS So. Punter / Kicker
#39 6-2, 200
Greenville, SC

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made both of his field goals – one from 42 yards and the other from 43 yards.

When Sammy Watkins caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Tajh Boyd in the first quarter tonight, Watkins broke two school records. It was his 12th touchdown catch of the year, breaking the record of 11 previously held by himself and Aaron Kelly in 2007. It was also his 13th overall touchdown of the year, breaking the previous Clemson record for a freshman. C.J. SpillerC.J. Spiller
Pro Running Back
#28 5-11, 195
Lake Butler, FL

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had 12 as a freshman in 2006. Spiller is in the house tonight watching from the Clemson sidelines.

Clemson established a school record for touchdowns in a season tonight. The record setter came on Watkins 27 yard touchdown catch from Tajh Boyd. That was Clemson’s 56th touchdown of the season. The previous record was 55 touchdowns in 2000 and 2006.

Clemson scored 17 points in the first quarter tonight, the most points Clemson has scored in the first quarter of a bowl game. The previous high was 14 by the Tigers against Missouri in the 1949 Gator Bowl.


What went wrong: The defense looked lost most of the night. Linebackers have not hit their gaps correctly, and the defensive backs have had busted coverages at least four times that I can think of. The tackling has also been extremely poor at times.

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith has made several plays with his legs, and the Clemson defensive line has lost containment on Smith several times.

The Mountaineers have been running their screen game to perfection.

Running back Andre Ellington looked like he was about to go in for a touchdown, but had the ball ripped out by a Mountaineer defensive back, who took it 99 yards for a touchdown.

The Tigers trailed 35-20 late in the first half, and had a chance to get some points before the half, but Boyd threw an interception right to the receiver and the Mountaineers took it in for a touchdown just three plays later.

On the ensuing possession, Boyd fumbled on a run and West Virginia again turned it into points.

Boyd threw another interception in the third quarter that doomed another drive.

Turning Point of the Game:Ellington’s touchdown was going to put Clemson up 24-21, but instead the Mountaineers went up 28-17 and never looked back.

Stats of the Game: Three turnovers by the Tigers doomed them in the first half. The Tigers had 331 total yards in the half, but the turnovers –especially one in the endzone – were killer. The six TD passes thrown by Geno Smith are a BCS record, and the points scored were the most ever scored in a bowl game by any team in college football history.

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