The Buckeyes and Clemson met for only the second time in history, and for the second time the Clemson Tigers pulled out the victory on an interception at the end of the game. In a tough, hard fought battle, both teams slugged their way into leads, and control of the momentum, but it was Clemson holding the 40-35 lead at the end. Braxton Miller, hurt for much of the game, grit his teeth and put together a 16/24 for 234 yards, 2 touchdowns and two interceptions. He also added two touchdowns and 35 yards on 18 carries, though he lost a lot of yardage on sacks. Tajh Boyd, Miller’s counterpart, came out with a stunning display by throwing 30/39 for 370 yards, 5 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, as well as running 20 times for 127 yards and a touchdown.
Carlos Hyde, the stellar Ohio State back, finished his career in a tough running day, managing to gain 113 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. Corey “Philly” Brown led the Buckeye receivers with 116 yards on 8 receptions for the day. For Clemson, Roderick McDowell picked up only 69 yards on 12 carries, while Sammy Watkins set an Orange Bowl record with 227 yards on 16 receptions, and capping it off with 2 touchdowns.
The Ohio State Defense, much maligned most of the season and especially going into this game, were the first unit tasked with handling a potent offense this evening. Things were going well for the first couple plays. Clemson was finding some success moving the football, but the Buckeyes were tackling and attacking. Until Tajh Boyd hit the center of the offensive line and blitzed away to a 49 yard touchdown. That was Boyd’s longest touchdown run of the season.
Going the other direction, things did not look a whole lot better for OSU. The Offensive Line, a huge strength of this team all season, suddenly looked unable to block up the middle. A few attempts at the edge, including a 10 yard pass to Corey “Philly” Brown in the flat, had some success, but it wasn’t enough. Clemson’s defensive line picked up an excellent 17 yard sack helped by their coverage unit. 20 yards of penalties, including an unsportsmanlike conduct, gave the Buckeyes new life on the drive.
The Buckeyes continued to struggle on their first drive. Eventually, they were forced to punt. But, instead of giving the ball back, Meyer called Heuerman’s number on a fake with only 2 yards to go inside Clemson territory. The fake worked, and began to breathe life into the Scarlet and Grey. The drive was capped off by a beautiful 33 yard run with a little Braxton-patented stutter-step for a touchdown.
The Clemson Tigers await the Buckeyes in Miami to do battle in the Discover Orange Bowl on January 3rd. Meanwhile a little farther north in Georgia the Silver Bullets picked up what could be a centerpiece to the future. We’ll discuss “Youngstown Boys” and attack with quick hitters. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
Orange decisions and Clemson (who also wears orange)
While it was unthinkable prior to, after the final gun sounded on the Big Ten Championship Game it became obvious to everyone where the Buckeye football team would be bowling this January. Outside of Dade County and the walls of the Orange Bowl committee, nobody wanted to think about or even consider the possiblity of the team being anywhere except Pasadena either on New Years Day or, more likely, the following Monday in the BCS National Championship Game. Meanwhile, all along it was a foregone conclusion that if eliminated from the games being played in the Rose Bowl the Buckeyes were going to be South Beach bound.
And while it seems like a consolation prize, and to a large extent it is, that’s something as fans we should take great pride in. With their first pick of the at-large schools (after Alabama was scooped up by the Sugar Bowl, which is an SEC tradition) the Orange quickly hopped on the Buckeyes because they know that it will get a high rating on television and there will be butts in the seats. Buckeye Nation travels and likes to spend money. Read More
The weak that was and I pulled an 0′fer and am 3 and 12 on the season! Atleast Im doing a little better in the Pick ‘em pool!!! Anyone want to replace me as the the picker for these contest games? Here are the results of my worst weak week ever!!!
Safe Bet. VTU over PITT 31 to 6; Role reversal and WRONG! PITT 35 to 17 (Some other time Fat Urkel)
Points Plus. Mizzou over Arizona St. 43 to 39; wrong on points Mizzou 24 to 20
Defensive Struggle. Navy over Penn St. 9 to 7; WRONG AGAIN!! PSU 34 to 7
Best Match-up. USC over Stanford 34 to 28; Glad I was WRONG Stanford 21 to 14
Best B1G Game. MSU over Notre Lame 24 to 17; Sparty WRONGED me! ND 20 to 3
Ok… here’s what you’ve got for this week:
Safe Bet. Maryland @ WVU. I’ll take WVU and the points here. Now that the Heisman front runner Geno Smith and his streaks in shoes Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey are firing on all cylinders in that high powered offense, they’ll take care of business quickly. Edsell’s Terp’s are still learning the ropes and have little chance of competing in this game. I was wron about my safe bet last week, but not this week. WVU 47 to 13
Points Plus. Fresno St. @ Tulsa. The Bulldogs hung 69 points last week on Colorado and the Golden Hurricanes blew through Nicholls St. for the tune of 66 points. The last time these two teams met in 2005 they combined for 55 points. I’d say the over in this match up is close to double that. Basketball on turf for sure. Fresno St. 54 to 49
Defensive Struggle. Rutgers @ Arkansas. I honestly am not too sure there is much left of John L. Smith and the Razorbacks after the Tide dismantled and blanked them last week. There isn’t help on the way in the form of the Scarlet Knights thoughas they are undefeated on the season and atop the Big Least standings. I’m not sure any of that means anything. Going with the gut feeling here. Arkansas 16 to 10
Best Match-up. Clemson @ Florida St. In my ACC preview I pretty much said it would come down to the man that beat the man that beat the . . , and here we go. If the home team holds pat, which I don’t believe they will, then FSU will become a front runner to possibly play the winner of the SEC championship for the national title. That being said, the ACC has a habit of beating up on each other in these types of games and ruining each others seasons. Its a tough place to play for sure but I still like Clemson to play for it in the end. Clemson 21 to 17
Best B1G Game. TTUN @ Notre Lame. It’s killing me that I have had to use these guys three weeks in a row and it’s even worse now that I have to chose between them and TTUN. Now that Notre Lame is finally leaving the B1G . . , oh wait . . , the Big Least . . , no . . , whatever, they’re headed to the ACC and good riddens! Two things I will never do, pick a TTUN team to win anything, nor will I ever root for them. Notre Lame 24 to 23
Good luck with this week’s picks and Go Bucks!
As we get closer and closer to kickoff, we’ll be looking across the nation at other (read “inferior”) conferences. This way, you’ll have just enough information to argue with that guy in accounting. Today we take a look at the Atlantic Coast Conference- nope, FSU and Clemson haven’t left yet.
Where does the conference fall in the national rankings. How likely are they to have a team in the Title game?
It’s not that the ACC hasn’t been able to compete on a national stage over the years or the fact that they don’t get ranked teams. They haven’t been able to finish at the end of the season. The only BCS National Champion they’ve produced is Florida State in 2000 as they beat a then Big East Virginia Tech. As a conference, the ACC is 2-13 overall in BCS bowls they have participated in and 1-2 in the Title game. They double dipped in the BCS last year and everyone knows how both of those turned out.
Who’s the best team in the conference? Who will play for in the conference title game (if there is one)?
Clemson has the best talent in the conference with several players returning on the defense that didn’t show up for their bowl game against WVU last season- They are a team on a mission and the offensive firepower to do it. The conference race will take care of itself more or less as FSU plays at VTU late in the season, Clemson will play at FSU, and VTU has to go to Death Valley. It could boil down to the home team winning out and there not being a clear-cut champion and either Clemson or FSU will play VTU in the ACC Championship game.
I am of the belief that Clemson will hold pat on the road at FSU and finish the season undefeated and take on the Hokies. This isn’t a surprise as Virginia Tech has played in five of the seven conference title games winning three of them and losing last years’ to Clemson.
Who are the worst teams in the conference? Read More