Orange Bowl Key Matchup
Posted on: January 3, 2012 11:40 am
Edited on: January 3, 2012 12:50 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
A look at the matchup that could decide the Orange Bowl
Najee Goode, LB, West Virginia vs. Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson
West Virginia's first team All-Big East linebacker is one of the most important pieces of the defense, and will be counted on step up in his last game as a Mountaineer. The redshirt senior is tied with offensive lineman Don Barclay and defensive end Julian Miller as the most experienced players on the team, with all three appearing in 51 career games for West Virginia. Goode has done everything the Mountaineers needed this season - from starting games at all three linebacker positions to recording seven tackles and forcing the game-saving fumble against USF in the regular season finale.
Now Goode needs to deliver one last memorable performance in order to contain the many weapons in Clemson's offense. Arguably his toughest challenge will be keeping an eye on tight end Dwayne Allen. In head coach Dabo Swinney's own words: Allen runs like a wide out, blocks like a tackle, and has improved his flexibility and football IQ. With dangerous deep threats like Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins on the outside, the duties of containing Allen will often fall on the linebackers.
Clemson's goal will be to exploit holes in the West Virginia coverage the way Syracuse did with Nick Provo in their 49-23 upset victory earlier this season. The Mountaineers struggled to keep Provo marked, particularly in the red zone, and eventually gave up six catches for 61 yards and three touchdowns. Dwayne Allen is arguably an enhanced version of Provo, and Goode must help the linebackers keep the 6-foot-4 Mackey Award winner from pulling down passes in the end zone if they hope to leave South Beach with their third BCS bowl win since 2005.
For all the latest on Clemson and West Virginia up until kickoff, check out the Orange Bowl Pregame
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Tags: ACC, Andre Branch, Andre Ellington, Big East, Brandon Thompson, Bruce Irvin, CBS Sports Orange Bowl, Chip Patterson, Clemson, Coty Sensabaugh, Dabo Swinney, Dana Holgorsen, DeAndre Hopkins, Devon Brown, Discover Orange Bowl, Dwayne Allen, Geno Smith, Ivan McCartney, Najee Good, Najee Goode, Orange Bowl, Orange Bowl Keys, Orange Bowl Predictions, Orange Bowl Preview, Orange Bowl Projections, Sammy Watkins, Stedman Bailey, Tajh Boyd, Tavon Austin, Tyler Urban, West Virginia