Instant Halftime Analysis: West Virginia 49, Clemson 20

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Orange Bowl Instant Halftime Analysis: West Virginia 49, Clemson 20

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

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has 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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is running the ball well, and has over 100 yards in the 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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has 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 has looked lost at times. 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.

Turning Point of the Half:Ellington’s touchdown was going to put Clemson up 24-21, but instead the Mountaineers went up 28-17.

Stats of the Half: 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.

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