Blog Entry

QUICK HITS: West Virginia 70, Clemson 33

Posted on: January 5, 2012 12:18 am
Edited on: January 5, 2012 12:55 am
 


Posted by Chip Patterson


Clemson entered the Orange Bowl with hopes of repeating history, on the 30th anniversary of the program's last trip to this game - also their last National Championship. The head coach of that team, the legendary Danny Ford, was honored before the game. All-American linebacker Jeff Davis was one of the Tigers' honorary captains. On Wednesday night, the Tigers wrote themselves into the BCS history books.

Just not for the reasons head coach Dabo Swinney would have liked.

Inestad it was West Virginia instead who made history, and they made it in several different ways.

First, as a team:
- Most first half points (49) in any bowl game, ever.
- Most points (70) in any bowl game, ever.

Then some individuals:
- Geno Smith's 6 passing touchdowns are new Orange and BCS bowl records, surpassing Matt Leinart (2005) and Tom Brady (2000).  The six touchdowns also tie the record for touchdowns scored by a single player in any bowl game, ever.
- Tavon Austin's 4 receiving touchdowns are new Orange Bowl and BCS bowl records, and tie the record for any bowl game, ever.

WEST VIRGNIA WON. A high-scoring game was expected, but no one imagined it would be so lopsided in favor of the Mountaineers, as the West Virginia re-wrote the Orange Bowl record books in a 70-33 rout of Clemson.

HOW WEST VIRGINIA WON: Both teams played a dead-even first quarter that met the pregame expectations, with Clemson leading 21-17 and both putting up over 150 total yards of offense. But West Virginia took advantage of three Clemson turnovers in the second quarter and some shaky play by the Tigers' secondary to outscore the Tigers 35-3 in the period. The 49 points allowed in a half by Clemson's defense was the most in any bowl game ever.

WHEN WEST VIRGINIA WON: The second quarter slaughter began at the end of a very dominant Clemson drive, which was featured a 39-yard run by Andre Ellington to set up 1st and Goal from the three yard line. But when Ellington was stood up by the pile at the goal line on the following play, West Virginia cornerback Darwin Cook jumped in and stripped the ball from his hands. While most players were still involved in the pile-up at the goal line, Cook dashed 99 yards the other way for a West Virginia touchdown. The Tigers did not come close to reaching the goal line again until DeAndre Hopkins scored with 1:37 left in the third quarter.

WHAT WEST VIRGINIA WON: Respect on the biggest stage. With all the talk about conference realignment and BCS automatic bids, the Mountaineers would like to remind you they are a damn good football team. For all the talk about West Virginia's offense, they would not have been in the position to score if it wasn't for the defense forcing turnovers and holding the Tigers from the end zone for nearly 30 minutes of game time between the 2nd and 3rd quarter.

WHAT CLEMSON LOST: A historic meltdown on what many thought would be a historic night for the Tigers. After winning the ACC Championship, head coach Dabo Swinney thought the program "broke through walls" and began moving forward into the status of the elite. Many figured an Orange Bowl win would help cement that status as a rising program. Clemson fans better hope there is not another 30 year drought before their next Orange Bowl appearance, or else this memory will last a long time.

THAT WAS CRAZY. After the aforementioned Darwin Cook strip-touchdown, the cornerback ran through the end zone and was carried by his momentum right into Obie, the Orange Bowl mascot. Cook proceeded to clothesline the big fuzzy fruit, before hitting the barricade at the back of the end zone. (Check out this .gif, via SB Nation)

BOWL GRADE: A+/F. All depends on your perspective for this one. For a West Virginia fan, the dismantling of Clemson on the national stage was sweet redemption from weeks of naysaying about their place in this game. The 8-5 Mountaineers were deemed "not good enough for a BCS bowl game" by many, and the beatdown was a huge West Virginian middle finger to those doubters. For Clemson? This was arguably the program's worst loss in recent memory. On the 30th anniversary of their last National Championship, with the head coach and star linebacker in attendance; the Tigers were ripped apart. The ultimate "Clemson pulling a Clemson," as some might choose to say.

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Comments

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Since: Aug 18, 2000
Posted on: January 5, 2012 10:37 am
 

QUICK HITS: West Virginia 70, Clemson 33

"The 8-5 Mountaineers were deemed "not good enough for a BCS bowl game" by many, and the beatdown was a huge West Virginian middle finger to those doubters."

8-5? WTF??? WVU is now 10-3 after last night.   



Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:26 am
 

QUICK HITS: West Virginia 70, Clemson 33

Yesterday I posted that this would be another crappy BCS game coming on the heals of a truly crappy Michigan/VaTech Sugar Bowl and I was criticized. I was told by other posters that these two teams truly deserved to be in a big BCS game as Conference champions. Uh... NO. This was two more mediocre college teams that had no business up on the big BCS stage. Give me Boise State vs Arkansas or Kansas State, but really, this game was predictably horrible to watch - at least the brief parts of the game that I actually watched. Thankfully, Modern Family was on as an alternative.



Since: Jan 5, 2012
Posted on: January 5, 2012 8:54 am
 

QUICK HITS: West Virginia 70, Clemson 33

Since Geno Smith also ran for a touchdown in addition to his six touchdown passes, does this set a new record of seven touchdowns by a single player (instead of a tie for the six passing touchdowns)?  Thanks for a great article chronicling the many detailed aspects of the game.



Since: Jan 5, 2012
Posted on: January 5, 2012 8:34 am
 

QUICK HITS: West Virginia 70, Clemson 33

As a UNIVERSITY OF SC FAN, I ALWAYS PULL FOR CLEMSON AS LONG AS THE GAMECOCKS ARE NOT PLAYING CLEMSON. LAST NIGHT WAS PAINFUL TO WATCH, BUT IT HIGHLIGHTS WHY THE ACC IS SUCH A POOR PARTNER FOR THE ORANGE BOWL. CLEMSON IS A BIG FISH IN A SMALL POND AND WINNING THE ACC IS FAR FROM WHAT IT FORMERLY WAS. I TOLD MY WIFE THAT DABO'S HOUSE WAS PROBABLY TORCHED AFTER THE HALF AND THAT IF WV SCORED 70 POINTS, DABO WOULD BE A DEAD MAN WALKING IN CLEMSON. UNFORTUNATELY, WV DID SCORE 70 POINTS AND LIKELY COULD HAVE MADE 80 POINTS IF LEFT UNRESTRAINED. CLEMSON FANS ARE UNFORGIVING FOR COACHING FAILURES AND DABO WAS A DISASTER LAST NIGHT. THIS IS A STAIN ON CLEMSON THAT WILL NEVER BE WASHED OFF. DABO NEEDS TO GET IN HIS CAR AND DRIVE INTO THE SUNSET AS HIS NAME WILL BE A CURSE WORD FOR THE NEXT 100 YEARS. APPALLING, FECKLESS, CLUELESS, IDIOTIC, UNPREPARED AND JUST PLAIN STUPID. DABO NEEDS TO GO HERD SOME COWS AS HIS CAREER COACHING IS OVER.



Since: Nov 29, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2012 1:58 am
 

QUICK HITS: West Virginia 70, Clemson 33

WVU is the only team in the BCS era to hold Fiesta, Sugar, and Orange trophies. Only four teams in history hold those three trophies. WVU won their third BCS game in seven seasons, and is now 3-0 in BCS games, having beaten the SEC Champion, Big 12 Champion, and ACC Champion. WVU was picked by "experts" as underdogs in all of their BCS games, and given little chance to win any of them. Sooner or later you would think that people would see a pattern here, and learn something, but they never will. Next year the "experts" will be picking against them again.



Since: Dec 14, 2009
Posted on: January 5, 2012 1:48 am
 

QUICK HITS: West Virginia 70, Clemson 33

Chip,

WVU was 9-3 going into the game; not 8-5.

WVU has now won BCS games in the Fiesta, Sugar and Orange Bowls since 2006. The ACC has won two BCS Bowls since 2000. And yet all the pundits, critics and analysts question the integrity of the Big East, and continue to give the ACC a free pass.

Perhaps the Mountain West should shift their anger toward Swofford and the ACC. There are enough of us Mountaineer fans to aim our venom toward Marinotto and the Big East.



Since: Oct 21, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2012 1:43 am
 

QUICK HITS: West Virginia 70, Clemson 33

Clemson got hosed tonite,
much like Boise State got hosed by the Sugar Bowl.


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