Orange Bowl Preview

January 4, 2012

Didn’t I tell you? The Sugar Bowl last night was a close game, but only because neither team was able to separate itself. Virginia Tech had chances but couldn’t capitalize, and Michigan didn’t have very many good chances but was helped out enormously by the Hokies.

Other teams should have played in that bowl game last night.

While tonight’s game doesn’t exactly thrill me either, at least these teams actually earned their way to a BCS bowl by winning their respective conferences. Here is the preview for tonight’s game.

Discover Orange Bowl

West Virginia vs. Clemson

Based on how the other BCS bowl games have turned out, I cannot be extremely confident in my pick for this game. One of these teams has done an exceptional job this year in close games, which is an advantage.

In case you didn’t figure it out, West Virginia is the team that has performed exceptionally well in close games this year. The Mountaineers are 4-1 in games decided by seven points or less, and so far every BCS bowl has been within that range. West Virginia has an offense that can be very dangerous thanks to quarterback Geno Smith, but Dana Holgorsen’s defense is going to ultimately determine the outcome of this game. It is imperative that the Mountaineers do not allow the big play, which is going to be tough thanks to the athleticism on Clemson’s offense. If the Mountaineers can keep the game close until the fourth quarter, you couldn’t ask for a play-caller better than Geno Smith to take the team down the field for a winning score.

Clemson will look to outscore the Mountaineers in this game, as its defense is not suited to stop West Virginia’s offense. The Tigers give up a lot of yards through the air, and Geno Smith will make a defense pay all game for poor coverage. The best strategy for the Tigers on defense will be to constantly pressure Smith and hope for the best. On the offensive end, Clemson will need to do what made them one of the most electric teams this season. ACC Freshman of the Year award winner Sammy Watkins is a threat to take it the distance every time he touches the ball. However, the kind of night Andre Ellington has running the ball will determine the success of Clemson’s offense. West Virginia’s run defense has been suspect this season, and Clemson is undefeated when Ellington gains at least 70 yards on the ground.

The ACC has not done well in bowl games this season, but that does not matter here. Clemson proved they are the class of the conference by pounding Virginia Tech not once but twice this season, and the Hokies should’ve beaten Michigan last night. I have Clemson for 19 points in the College Bowl Mania game because of their offense.

Final Score: 38-28 Clemson

– K. Becks

2 Responses to Orange Bowl Preview

  1. Trent Gardner on January 4, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Nice read. Very nice read. Delonge.

    • K. Becks on January 5, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      Thank you kindly, sir.

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