The Complete Orange Bowl Preview: No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. No. 12 Clemson Tigers

Date: Friday, Jan. 3
Time: 8:30 PM ET
Venue: Sun Life Stadium
Location: Miami Gardens, FL
TV: ESPN will televise the game with Joe Tessitore and Matt Millen in the booth and Maria Taylor on the sidelines.
Radio: WBNS-FM 97.1 The Fan is the flagship station for the 64-station Ohio State IMG Sports Network. The Urban Meyer Pregame Show airs 30 minutes prior to kickoff. Paul Keels will call the play-by-play with former Buckeye Jim Lachey in the booth and Marty Bannister on the sidelines. The game can also be heard live on ESPN Radio coast-to-coast.
Weather: Party cloudy skies and a game time temperature 61 degrees. Winds will be NNE at 5-10 mph.

2013 TEAM SCHEDULES
CLEMSON TIGERS
10-2, 7-1 ACC
Aug. 31 #5 GEORGIA W, 38-35
Sept. 7 SOUTH CAROLINA STATE W, 52-13
Sept. 19 at N.C. State W, 26-14
Sept. 28 WAKE FOREST W, 56-7
Oct. 5 at Syracuse W, 49-14
Oct. 12 BOSTON COLLEGE W, 24-14
Oct. 19 #5 FLORIDA STATE L, 51-14
Oct. 26 at Maryland W, 40-27
Nov. 2 at Virginia W, 59-10
Nov. 14 GEORGIA TECH W, 55-31
Nov. 23 THE CITADEL W, 52-6
Nov. 30 at #10 South Carolina L, 31-17
OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
12-1, 8-0 Big Ten
Aug. 31 BUFFALO W, 40-20
Sept. 7 SAN DIEGO STATE W, 42-7
Sept. 14 at California W, 52-34
Sept. 21 FLORIDA A&M W, 76-0
Sept. 28 WISCONSIN W, 31-24
Oct. 5 at Northwestern W, 40-30
Oct. 19 IOWA W, 34-24
Oct. 26 PENN STATE W, 63-14
Nov. 2 at Purdue W, 56-0
Nov. 16 at Illinois W, 60-35
Nov. 23 INDIANA W, 42-14
Nov. 30 at Michigan W, 42-41
Dec. 7 vs. Michigan State L. 34-24

2013 TEAM STATISTICS
CLEMSON
OHIO STATE
FBS
Rank
ACC
Rank
Actual
Actual
B1G
Rank
FBS
Rank
8
2
40.2
Scoring Offense
46.3
1
3
11
2
502.0
Total Offense
518.5
1
7
60
6
172.7
Rushing Offense
317.5
1
3
11
1
329.3
Passing Offense
200.9
8
89
8
2
162.07
Passing Efficiency
158.78
1
10
17
3
21.1
Scoring Defense
21.3
4
20
22
3
350.8
Total Defense
362.2
4
30
50
8
152.6
Rushing Defense
102.6
3
6
17
3
198.3
Pass Defense
259.5
11
103
15
3
111.14
Pass Efficiency Defense
129.6
9
73
38
4
0.4
Turnover Margin
0.5
2
24

2013 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
CLEMSON
PASSING
CMP
ATT
PCT
YDS
TD
INT
Tajh Boyd
252
373
67.6
3473
29
9
RUSHING
ATT
YDS
YPG
AVG
LNG
TD
Roderick McDowell
177
956
79.7
5.7
45
5
Tajh Boyd
134
273
22.8
3.7
17
9
Zac Brooks
48
246
27.3
5.2
27
2
RECEIVING
REC
YDS
YPG
AVG
LNG
TD
Sammy Watkins
85
1237
103.1
14.6
96
10
Martavis Bryant
39
800
72.7
20.5
76
5
Adam Humphries
41
483
43.9
11.8
60
2
OHIO STATE
PASSING
CMP
ATT
PCT
YDS
TD
INT
Braxton Miller
146
231
63.2
1860
22
5
RUSHING
ATT
YDS
YPG
AVG
LNG
TD
Carlos Hyde
183
1408
140.8
7.7
55
14
Braxton Miller
153
1033
93.9
7.8
70
10
Jordan Hall
81
536
53.6
6.7
49
8
RECEIVING
REC
YDS
YPG
AVG
LNG
TD
Philly Brown
55
655
50.4
11.9
58
10
Devin Smith
42
655
50.4
15.6
90
8
Jeff Heuerman
25
409
45.4
16.4
40
3

DEPTH CHART
CLEMSON TIGERS
DEFENSE
DE 93 COREY CRAWFORD, 6-5, 270, Jr.
9 Tavaris Barnes, 6-4, 275, Jr.
DT 50 GRADY JARRETT, 6-1, 295, Jr.
48 D.J. Reader, 6-2, 325, So.
DT 48 D.J. READER, 6-2, 325, So.
or 91 JOSH WATSON, 6-4, 290, Jr.
or 99 DeSHAWN WILLIAMS, 6-1, 295, Jr.
DE 3 VIC BEASLEY, 6-2, 235, Jr.
90 Shaq Lawson, 6-3, 270, Fr.
SLB 34 QUANDON CHRISTIAN, 6-2, 230, Sr.
41 T.J. Burrell, 5-11, 215, R-Fr.
MLB 42 STEPHONE ANTHONY, 6-2, 245, Jr.
10 Ben Boulware, 5-11, 230, Fr.
WLB 33 SPENCER SHUEY, 6-3, 240, Sr.
7 Tony Steward, 6-1, 230, Jr.
CB 17 BASHAUD BREELAND, 6-0, 185, Jr.
14 Martin Jenkins, 5-9, 185, Jr.
S 20 JAYRON KEARSE, 6-4, 205, Fr.
18 Jadar Johnson, 6-1, 195, Fr.
S 27 ROBERT SMITH, 5-11, 210, Jr.
12 Korrin Wiggins, 5-11, 190, Fr.
CB 8 DARIUS ROBINSON, 5-10, 175, Sr.
26 Garry Peters, 6-0, 185, Jr.
P 92 BRADLEY PINION, 6-6, 230, So.
OFFENSE
LT 63 BRANDON THOMAS, 6-3, 315, Sr.
70 Gifford Timothy 6-6, 315, Jr.
LG 68 DAVID BEASLEY, 6-4, 320, Jr.
67 Kalon Davis, 6-5, 340, Jr.
C 58 RYAN NORTON, 6-3, 280, So.
57 Jay Guillermo, 6-3, 315, R-Fr.
RG 62 TYLER SHATLEY, 6-3, 300, Sr.
77 Reid Webster, 6-3, 300, Jr.
RT 79 ISAIAH BATTLE, 6-7, 275, So.
76 Shaq Anthony, 6-4, 280, So.
TE 81 STANTON SECKINGER, 6-4, 230, So.
or 86 SAM COOPER, 6-6, 250, Jr.
40 Darrell Smith, 6-1, 240, Sr.
16 Jordan Leggett, 6-5, 240, Fr.
WR 2, SAMMY WATKINS, 6-1, 205, Jr.
82 T.J. Green, 6-3, 195, Fr.
QB 10 TAJH BOYD, 6-1, 225, Sr.
18 Cole Stoudt, 6-4, 210, Jr.
RB 25 RODERICK McDOWELL, 5-10, 200, Sr.
22 D.J. Howard, 6-0, 195, Jr.
24 Zac Brooks, 6-1, 190, So.
WR 13 ADAM HUMPHRIES, 5-11, 190, Jr.
5 Germone Hopper, 6-0, 180, R-Fr.
WR 1 MARTAVIS BRYANT, 6-5, 200, Jr.
7 Mike Williams, 6-3, 205, Fr.
K 39 CHANDLER CATANZARO, 6-3, 200, Sr.
OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
OFFENSE
LT 74 JACK MEWHORT, 6-6, 308, Sr.
76 Darryl Baldwin, 6-6, 310, Jr.
LG 78 ANDREW NORWELL, 6-6, 316, Sr.
65 Pat Elflein, 6-3, 295, R-Fr.
C 71 COREY LINSLEY, 6-3, 297, Sr.
50 Jacoby Boren, 6-2, 290, So.
RG 79 MARCUS HALL, 6-5, 315, Sr.
65 Pat Elflein, 6-3, 295, R-Fr.
RT 68 TAYLOR DECKER, 6-7, 315, So.
66 Kyle Dodson, 6-6, 310, R-Fr.
or 55 Tommy Brown, 6-4, 308, So.
TE 86 JEFF HEUERMAN, 6-6, 252, Jr.
81 Nick Vannett, 6-6, 255, So.
WR (X) 9 DEVIN SMITH, 6-1, 198, Jr.
83 Michael Thomas, 6-3, 202, So.
QB 5 BRAXTON MILLER, 6-2, 215, Jr.
13 Kenny Guiton, 6-3, 208, Sr.
RB 34 CARLOS HYDE, 6-0, 235, Sr.
2 Jordan Hall, 5-9, 191, Sr.
or 7 Rod Smith, 6-3, 232, Jr.
H-B 10 PHILLY BROWN, 6-0, 190, Sr.
1 Dontre Wilson, 5-10, 180, Fr.
WR (Z) 6 EVAN SPENCER, 6-2, 206, Jr.
80 Chris Fields, 6-1, 200, Sr.
K 24 DREW BASIL, 6-2, 212, Sr.
DEFENSE
DE 97 JOEY BOSA, 6-6, 275, Fr.
92 Adolphus Washington, 6-4, 295, So.
NG 51 JOEL HALE, 6-4, 310, Jr.
72 Chris Carter, 6-4, 340, So.
DT 63 MICHAEL BENNETT, 6-3, 285, Jr.
90 Tommy Schutt, 6-2, 300, So.
VIPER 34 JAMAL MARCUS, 6-2, 240, So.
or 88 STEVE MILLER, 6-3, 255, Jr.
OLB 2 RYAN SHAZIER, 6-2, 230, Jr.
36 Trey Johnson, 6-1, 220, Fr.
MLB 14 CURTIS GRANT, 6-3, 243, Jr.
48 Joe Burger, 6-2, 235, So.
SLB 37 JOSHUA PERRY, 6-4, 246, So.
55 Camren Williams, 6-1, 231, So.
CB 26 ARMANI REEVES, 5-10, 198, So.
16 Cam Burrows, 6-0, 205, Fr.
FS 23 TYVIS POWELL, 6-3, 207, Fr.
3 Corey “Pittsburgh” Brown, 6-1, 203, Sr.
SS 4 C.J. BARNETT, 6-1, 204, Sr.
20 Ron Tanner, 6-0, 200, So.
CB 12 DORAN GRANT, 5-11, 191, Jr.
19 Gareon Conley, 6-2, 185, Fr.
NB 11 VONN BELL, 5-11, 190, Fr.
3 Corey “Pittsburgh” Brown, 6-1, 203, Sr.
P 95 CAMERON JOHNSTON, 5-11, 190, Fr.

Latest Line:
Currently, Ohio State is a 3-point favorite. The Over/Under is 71.

Series History:
This is just the second meeting between the two schools. Ohio State is 0-1 against Clemson.

Last Time Out:
Dec. 29, 1978 – Freshman quarterback Art Schlichter threw for 205 yards on 16-of-20 passing and added 70 rushing yards on 18 attempts but it wasn’t enough as Clemson defeated Ohio State, 17-15, in the 1978 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville.

After Bob Atha gave Ohio State an early 3-0 lead on a 27-yard field goal with 12:08 left in the second quarter, Clemson’s Steve Fuller, named the game’s outstanding player, directed the Tigers on an 80-yard, seven-minute drive. Fuller passed for 25 yards and ran for 36, including a scoring jaunt of 4 yards with 5:03 to go before halftime.

Schlichter then answered with a 78-yard drive for the Buckeyes, scoring himself from 4 yards away. Vlade Janakievski’s extra point was blocked, but OSU had a 9-7 lead with 1:05 remaining until intermission.

Clemson scored the next 10 points before Schlichter tallied again at the end of an 88-yard march with 8:11 left in the game, but his two-point conversion run was stopped short of the goal line.

OSU got a chance at victory when Tim Sawicki covered a Fuller fumble on the Clemson 24 with 4:22 remaining. But on third-and-five at the 24, the Tigers’ Charlie Bauman stepped in front of a Schlichter pass intended for Ron Springs, and OSU’s hopes were dashed.

Preview:
The No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes and No. 12 Clemson Tigers will close out their respective seasons in the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

orange-bowl

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 heart-breaking 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.

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 10th in school history.

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.

But 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.

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.

Boyd’s favorite target is junior WR Sammy Watkins. A second-team All-American this season, Watkins was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award with 85 receptions for 1,237 yards and 10 TDs. Junior Martavis Bryant is second in receiving with 39 catches for 800 yards and five scores.

On the ground, senior running back Roderick McDowell leads the team in rushing with 956 yards on 177 carries and five touchdowns. Boyd is second with 273 yards in 134 attempts and nine 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 tackles for loss, 12 sacks and four forced fumbles. Junior linebacker Stephone Anthony tops the roster with 120 total tackles.

While Clemson’s offense has been good, Ohio State’s has been even better and the Buckeyes won’t shy away from turning this game into a shootout if needed. Ohio State ranks fourth nationally in scoring (46.3 ppg), and controlling the tempo might be imperative with its pounding ground attack that ranks third nationally (317.5 ypg). In terms of total offense, OSU ranks seventh averaging 518.5 yard per game.

Not many quarterbacks played better than junior Braxton Miller this season. Miller’s passing numbers were modest due to injury, as he completed 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 1,033 yards with 10 more scores.

In the passing game, senior Philly Brown (55 receptions, 655 yards, 10 TDs) and junior Devin Smith (42 receptions, 655 yards, eight TDs) are Miller’s preferred targets downfield.

One of the top running backs in the country, senior Carlos Hyde rushed 1,408 yards (140.8 ypg) and 14 TDs.

And then there’s the much-maligned Buckeye defense, which has allowed 21.3 points per game this year. Though Ohio State has been stout against the run allowing only 102.6 yards per game, secondary has been porous, surrendering 259.5 yards per game 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 total tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, six sacks and four forced fumbles, en route to first-team All-American honors.

Since sophomore defensive end Noah Spence is suspended, freshman defensive end Joey Bosa (39 tackles, 12.5 TFL, 6.5 sacks) and junior defensive tackle Michael Bennett (38 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 7.0 sacks) will have to step up their games and get pressure on Boyd.

The bottom line is this, Ohio State’s offense needs to be firing on all cylinders while the defense has to make plays and get some stops. I think this will happen. Running the ball and running it often will keep the defense fresh and Clemson’s offense off the field. But at the same time, the offense can’t get too conservative. It still has to be a balanced attack to avoid third-and-long situations.

Now here’s hoping that defensive coordinator Luke Fickell has done his homework.

Prediction:
Ohio State 45, Clemson 38