Discover Orange Bowl Preview: Clemson vs. West Virginia

The High-Powered Offenses of Clemson and West Virginia Face Off in the Discover Orange Bowl

The Clemson Tigers stunned ACC favorites Virginia Tech to earn their first Discover Orange Bowl bid in 20 years. In the other corner, the West Virginia Mountaineers won a three-way tiebreaker to take home the Big East title and the default BCS berth that goes with it. It’ll be a battle of great offenses down in Miami Gardens. We examine who’s most likely to prevail.

Bowl Game: (Discover) Orange Bowl

Location: Miami Gardens, Fla.

First Year: 1935

2012 Participants: Clemson Tigers (10-3) vs. West Virginia Mountaineers (9-3)

Last Meeting: 1989, a 27-7 Gator Bowl win by Clemson

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Clemson (previous bowl game: 31-26 loss to USF in 2010 Meineke Car Care Bowl)

For much of the 2011 season, the surprising Tigers sported the ACC’s most electrifying offensive attack. With All-ACC quarterback Tajh Boyd at the helm, and star freshman Sammy Watkins catching passes, the team raced out to an 8-0 start, averaging over 40 points per game in that span. Though the team struggled through the year’s final four regular season games (going 1-3), they still managed to recapture their previous magic in the ACC title game against Virginia Tech. Propelled by a swarming defensive front and a relentless passing assault, they cruised to a 38-10 victory. And while it was an impressive, unexpected victory, it shouldn’t cloud the obvious flaws in this Tigers team. Continue reading

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