Things didn’t go as expected in Miami. Players are deciding to stay or go. New recruits are on board. We’ll start putting a bow on the 2013 season. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
By now you’re probably tired of hearing about what went wrong and what should or could have happened at the Orange Bowl on Friday night. I won’t deny it, I’m with you. Unfortunately there are a few things I think need discussed, or at least have my opinion weighed in on. Some are a bit out of the box.
I’ve read and heard a lot of people talk about how Clemson is a talented team, and that can’t be denied. I’ve read and heard people say that the better team won, and maybe there’s some truth to that.
The fact is that you can throw out whatever cliched line you want, the Buckeyes were winning at halftime 22-20. A lead that came about despite one of the worst halves of football we’ve seen since Urban Meyer took the controls. Ohio State came out of the locker room looking uninpsired and as though they really didn’t want to be in Miami at all. Of course Clemson errors played a big part in the Buckeye advantage, but no matter how you slice it up, they were leading at halftime.
The third quarter absolutely belonged to Carlos Hyde. I’m not sure what was discussed at the break, but the decision to come out and ride Carlos was simple and magnificent. The offensive live began getting huge movement as Hyde bullied behind them and brought the Buckeyes to a 29-20 lead with 5:50 to play in the 3rd. Camera shots on the Clemson sideline showed a team that was done. I had mentioned several times during the week that Clemson was prone to quit when a team leaned on them and took a lead, especially if they had been ahead early. It was happening. Read More
Well, well, the Buckeyes get to head south for their bowl game rather than west. Oh well, it wasn’t our first preference, but let’s go Orange Bowling. The bowl game that we know as the Orange Bowl was inaugurated in 1933 as the Palm Festival. The bowl game was renamed the Orange Bowl and under the new name, the first game was played on January 1st, 1935 between Bucknell and Miami, won by Bucknell 26-0. From 1935 through 1988, this contest was known as the Orange Bowl. From 1989 – 2010, buttressed by corporate sponsorship, it was renamed the FedEx Orange Bowl. Moving from logistics to financial services, the game was renamed again in 2010 as the Discover (Financial) Orange Bowl.
The protagonists this January are the Ohio State University Buckeyes, Big Ten Conference (12-1, 8-1) and the Clemson Tigers, Atlantic Coast Conference (10-2, 7-1). Both teams have a brief history in playing in the Orange Bowl, and have played one another. The Buckeyes enter this game averaging 46 points on offense, while giving up 21 points. The Tigers average 40 points on offense and 21 on defense. The early line is Ohio State -2.5 with an over/under of 67, so Vegas is anticipating both teams scoring in the mid-30′s. They are probably right. Look for a high scoring game. Without much further ado, let’s get into the preview.
It’s a bayou Tiger versus a lowlands Tiger and they got their nicknames in completely different ways. The LSU tigers chose their name because of the infantry that fought for General Robert E. Lee during during the Civil War and they became known as the “Tiger Rifles”. The Clemson Tigers got their name simply because Walter Riggs, who was the head football coach in 1896 simply admired the Princeton Tigers and therefor named his team the same.
These two teams have been on a collision course for a couple years now and there have just been a few bumps in the road preventing it. Defending conference champs in their conferences, neither played for one this season which allowed them to finally be paired in this bowl game, could be the best match-up this year.
The Les Miles led Tigers, which will have their coach until they so choose, were hoping to play for another national title this season and the sole reason they didn’t may be due to losing one of the best players in the country. Tyrann Mathieu will be entering the NFL draft after sitting out a season due to suspension by the school, and it left a crater in the LSU defense that caused problems early on.
Playmakers: QB Zach Mettenberger played as well as he could in the match-up with Alabama and had them in position to win the game. He just had to sit back and watch as the season going down the drains unfolded. He has a good argument for being a leader and he’s shown poise of late. Having a pretty good season statistically the one area of concern headed into this game is the number of sacks that he has taken over the season, 26 sacks in all for over 200 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball it’s a tie for best playmaker this season. After losing a surefire heisman candidate for the season due to off field issues, the defense could have folded. It didn’t and thats mostly because Les Miles cupboard is not bare on that side of the ball. DE Barkevious Mingo and S Craig Loston have stepped up their game this season and have led the Tigers to success on defense. Mingo is a disruptor who gets after the QB and Loston has three INT’s for 103 yards and a TD.
Season High – Low: It’s simple for the bayou Bengals, they wanted it all. Les Miles has had them in a position to win it two seasons in a row now and has lost to what will be the back to back champions and Florida. That’s it. They compete at a high level and as a team aren’t very happy about playing in this game, but it is what it is and they have a hungry Clemson team wanting to climb the ladder. Read More