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Clemson14614640
Ohio State9137635
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(12) Clemson (10-2) vs. (7) Ohio State (12-1-)



Friday, January 3, 8:30 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Scott Haynes, Senior College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: The Clemson Tigers and Ohio State Buckeyes will close out their respective seasons in a BCS Bowl Game, as the two teams square off at Sun Life Stadium in the Orange Bowl.

Dabo Swinney's Tigers had their sights set on an ACC title and shot at the BCS National Championship and certainly looked headed towards those goals halfway through the season, winning their first six games, most of which came in impressive fashion. However, a humbling home loss to current top-ranked Florida State (51-14) derailed the Clemson train, leaving the Tigers chasing the Seminoles the rest of the way in the ACC's Atlantic Division. Clemson bounced back with four straight victories to reach the 10-win plateau, but suffered a 31-17 loss to rival South Carolina in the regular-season finale.

This marks Clemson's fifth trip to the Orange Bowl, with the Tigers splitting their four previous appearances. The last time they were in this contest however, the Tigers were humiliated by West Virginia, 70-33 in 2011.

Two seasons into his reign in Columbus and Urban Meyer has just one loss total. Ohio State remained among the top teams in the country by winning its first 12 games this season after winning all 12 in 2012. The one setback however, came in this year's Big Ten Championship Game, as Ohio State dropped a 34-24 decision to Michigan State. The loss kept the Buckeyes out of the National Title game and left the team at 12-1 on the year.

Swinney knows the caliber of team his squad is facing in this contest.

"Playing Ohio State is another opportunity to face a top 10 team. Coach (Urban) Meyer's team was just a few plays away from playing for the National Championship. It is one of the top programs in the nation. We are playing a program that has lost just once in the last two years."

This is just the second time that Ohio State will play in the Orange Bowl. The first came 37 years ago, a 27-10 victory over Colorado following the 1976 campaign. The Buckeyes have played in more BCS Bowl games than any other program, this game marking the ninth in school history.

These two teams have met just one previous time and that came in the 1978 Gator Bowl. Clemson prevailed in that game, 17-15, the final for famed Ohio State coach Woody Hayes.

The Tigers will certainly present a problem for Ohio State's defense, as they are one of the most prolific offenses in the nation. Clemson comes into the postseason ranked 11th nationally in scoring (40.2 ppg) and 13th in total offense (502.0 ypg). The team is fueled by a lethal passing attack that generates 329.3 yards per game, but that doesn't stop the team from racking up a healthy 172.7 yards per game rushing.

It all starts with senior quarterback Tahj Boyd. A Honorable Mention All- American selection this season, Boyd has completed 67.6 percent of his passes, for 3,473 yards and 29 touchdowns. Boyd also has a knack for finding the end zone on the ground, leading the team with nine rushing scores.

It certainly helps to have a star wideout to throw to. Boyd's favorite target is junior WR Sammy Watkins. A Second-Team All-American this season, Watkins was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award after hauling in 85 balls, for 1,237 yards and 10 TDs.

Roderick McDowell does the majority of the work on the ground and finished just under 1,000 yards this season with 956 yards and five TDs.

While Clemson is first thought of as an offensive team, the defense has made plenty of plays this season. The Tigers limited foes to 350.8 yards per game, and were particularly strong against the pass, holding opponents under 200 yards through the air. Of course, a big part of that success was due to a feverish pass rush that accounted for 33 sacks and aided in the team's ability to record 16 interceptions.

Leading the way in that regard was another All-American in defensive end Vic Beasley, who amassed 39 total tackles, with 19 TFL, 12 sacks and four forced fumbles. Linebackers Stephone Anthony (120 tackles, 13.5 TFL, 4 sacks) and Spencer Shuey (110 tackles, 5.5 TFL) were extremely active sideline to sideline.

The Buckeyes won't shy away from turning this game into a shootout, although they tend to take a vastly different approach in moving the ball. Ohio State ranks fourth nationally in scoring (46.3 ppg), controlling the tempo of most games with a devastating ground attack that ranks third nationally (317.5 ypg). In terms of total offense, OSU ranks seventh nationally (518.5 ypg).

Not many quarterbacks played better than Braxton Miller this season. Miller's passing numbers were modest, although he did complete 63.2 percent of his passes, for 1,860 yards, with 22 TDs and just five INTs. One of the nation's top dual-threats, Miller also rushed for over 1,000 yards (1,033) with 10 more scores. Backup Kenny Guiton (68.8 percent completion rate, 749 yards, 14 TDs) was more than serviceable when on the field under center this year as well.

Regardless of who is throwing the football for OSU, Cory Brown (55 receptions, 655 yards, 10 TDs) and Devin Smith (42 receptions, 655 yards, eight TDs) are the preferred targets downfield.

Miller wasn't the only player to eclipse 1,000 yards on the ground for OSU, as tailback Carlos Hyde had 30 more carries than Miller, but rushed for nearly 400 yards more, finishing with 1,408 yards (140.8 ypg) and 14 TDs.

The OSU defense was adequate, but not the feared unit that terrorized foes in recent memory. The Buckeyes allowed 21.3 ppg this year, showing some weakness against opposing passing games, allowing 259.5 ypg through the air. Despite opponents' affinity for passing against OSU, the Buckeyes certainly made their fair share of plays, with 40 sacks and 14 interceptions on the year.

Junior linebacker Ryan Shazier is the heart-and-soul of the unit, posting 134 tackles this season, with 22.5 TFL, six sacks and four forced fumbles, en route to First-Team All-American honors. Defensive ends Noah Spence (52 tackles, 14.5 TFL, 8.0 sacks) and Joey Bosa (39 tackles, 12.5 TFL, 6.5 sacks) and defensive tackle Michael Bennett (38 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 7.0 sacks) also made significant contributions, especially upfield.

Meyer knows the task at hand going up against the explosive Tigers.

"I know their coaching staff very well...have a lot of respect for them. I know Dabo really well," said Meyer. "They have a great offense. Their defense...we're going to have to play our tails off to move the ball against them. They have some very good personnel. A couple of those games they haven't given up much yardage at all. It's going to be a war."

While the defenses have shown strong play at times this season, this game will be decided by the offensive stars for both teams. If Miller and Hyde can control the tempo, they can limit the amount of drives Boyd will have.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ohio State 34, Clemson 31

12/30 11:54:12 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCSU 79
JVU 43
 
Final
ECU 92
VULYNCH 51
 
Final
DUKE 20
UNC 45
Final
LOS 3
CAR 2
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ORL
 
9:30pm Tonight
DUKE
TEMPL
 
Final
MIA 93
LAC 110
Final
SAC 103
CHI 88
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ORL
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
PHO
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
DET
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
MIL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
BOS
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
BRK
 
8:00pm Tonight
WAS
CLE
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
SAN
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
LAL
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
NOP
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
CHI
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
UTA
 
Final
WVU 20
KST 26
Final
DUKE 20
UNC 45
Final
TXST 45
ARKST 27
1:00pm Today
BUF 0
KSU 0
8:00pm Tonight
RICE
UTEP
9:30pm Tonight
SDST
AFA
9:30pm Tonight
UTST
SJST
Final
AKR 66
USC 46
Final
UCONN 65
COC 57
Final
MIAMI 66
DREX 46
Final
BC 69
NMU 65
Final
CHAR 106
PSU 97
Final
MICH 71
DET 62
Final
WMARY 100
BFLD 57
 
Final
USCU 107
BOBJONES 41
 
Final
UCF 76
ECKERD 59
 
Final
PURD 82
GRAM 30
 
Final
NCSU 79
JVU 43
 
Final
RFLSH 102
KEYSTONE 69
 
Final
VCU 106
MDES 66
Final
PROV 88
NAVY 51
 
Final
BRY 72
UNH 63
 
Final
PETE 59
NIAG 61
Final
STET 96
PBAT 85
 
Final
WAGN 83
SUNYWEST 49
 
Final
IOWA 57
TEX 71
Final
TENN 70
TXSOU 58
 
Final
SHU 54
MLOWELL 57
 
Final
ECU 92
VULYNCH 51
 
Final
TENNM 115
CBC 29
 
Final
MD 66
FORD 50
Final
WVU 91
GMAS 65
Final
RAD 61
HOW 52
 
Final
MURST 89
BRESCIA 56
 
Final
VILL 72
BUCK 65
Final
TENST 75
FISK 60
 
Final
HARV 71
FATL 49
Final
MINN 109
FRANKPRCE 57
 
Final
TULA 100
MVSU 61
 
Final
TCU 86
NO 71
 
Final
NW 69
UNF 67
 
Final
LSUALEX 79
NWST 89
 
Final
IND 74
SMU 68
Final
UAB 71
SFLA 73
Final
EILL 61
UCD 63
Final
SAV 59
WINT 58
 
Final
NIOWA 73
MRGST 53
 
Final
MISS 69
SOUTH 38
 
Final
SCAR 69
CORN 45
Final
VANDY 72
LIP 62
 
Final
ARST 68
LMU 44
Final
ALA 81
SMISS 67
Final
GRCN 64
TXARL 66
 
Final
NILL 78
IDAHO 67
Final
CAL 73
SYR 59
Final
GAELS 78
DEN 62
Final
NARZ 73
FRES 52
Final
PAC 81
PACU 56
 
Final
SDST 51
CALST 27
Final
UCLA 107
NICST 74
 
12:00pm Today
COC
TEXAM
 
12:00pm Today
DREX
USC
 
1:30pm Today
GWEBB
CLEM
 
2:30pm Today
MIAMI
AKR
 
2:30pm Today
UCONN
DAY
 
4:00pm Today
NEV
SHU
 
4:30pm Today
VALPO
ARKPB
 
4:30pm Today
LONG
UNCG
 
5:00pm Tonight
WVU
BC
 
5:00pm Tonight
TOWS
CCST
 
5:00pm Tonight
YALE
ILLCH
 
5:00pm Tonight
SYR
IOWA
 
5:30pm Tonight
HAMP
ALCOR
 
6:30pm Tonight
ODU
LSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
KENT
BU
 
7:00pm Tonight
SCAR
CHAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
UVA
GWU
 
7:00pm Tonight
WCU
HIWASSEE
 
7:00pm Tonight
GT
MAST
 
7:00pm Tonight
RIDE
LEH
 
7:00pm Tonight
MSU
LOYC
 
7:00pm Tonight
CMICH
MAINE
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
MNTST
 
7:00pm Tonight
GMAS
NMU
 
7:00pm Tonight
BAY
PVU
 
7:00pm Tonight
HOF
USB
 
7:00pm Tonight
OREG
TOL
 
7:00pm Tonight
UGA
TROY
 
7:00pm Tonight
STAN
UNLV
 
7:00pm Tonight
FAIR
WOFF
 
7:00pm Tonight
EMICH
YOUNG
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
COOK
 
7:30pm Tonight
FIU
FLMEM
 
7:30pm Tonight
KSU
SILL
 
7:30pm Tonight
CAL
TEX
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILL
PEAY
 
8:00pm Tonight
ARK
DELST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MCNST
JCHR
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDST
KNST
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKST
UWMIL
 
8:00pm Tonight
LATU
MORE
 
8:00pm Tonight
SDKST
NDAK
 
8:00pm Tonight
XAV
STEPH
 
8:00pm Tonight
UF
LAMON
 
8:30pm Tonight
WAKE
IONA
 
9:00pm Tonight
GRCN
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
COLST
UGST
 
9:00pm Tonight
WASU
IDST
 
9:00pm Tonight
WEBER
ILLST
 
9:00pm Tonight
AUB
LALAF
 
9:00pm Tonight
LOU
MARS
 
9:00pm Tonight
ORST
ORU
 
9:00pm Tonight
CORN
PSU
 
9:00pm Tonight
SD
SHSU
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTAH
UCR
 
9:30pm Tonight
DUKE
TEMPL
 
10:00pm Tonight
CPSL
DEL
 
10:00pm Tonight
AMER
PBY
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
WASH
 
10:30pm Tonight
LBSU
KYST
 
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
PITT
 
Final
PHI 2
MIN 3
Final
OTT 3
NAS 2
Final
MON 4
STL 1
Final
TOR 5
TAM 2
Final
WIN 3
DET 4
Final
DAL 3
ARI 1
Final
CAL 3
CHI 4
Final
COL 2
WAS 3
Final
VAN 3
ANA 4
Final
LOS 3
CAR 2
Final
SJS 2
FLA 3
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
BOS
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
NYI
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF 0
NYR 0
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
NJD
 
Final
OAK 24
KAN 20