8:30 PM ET, January 3, 2014
Sun Life Stadium, MIAMI, FL
It took a while for the Ohio State Buckeyes to get over the disappointment of not playing for the BCS national championship. This college football team wants to impress YouWager fans in the Orange Bowl.
The reality of facing Tajh Boyd and the rest of the Clemson Tigers’ high-powered offense with a vulnerable defense has definitely placed the Buckeyes on edge.
It looks like this will be one of the most entertaining bowls of the season with two of the nation’s most prolific offenses on display.
Playing for the national title was the goal from the start for the Buckeyes (12-1), who were No. 2 in the AP preseason poll after going 12-0 in 2012 — though the team was barred from the postseason due to NCAA infractions.
Led by duel-threat quarterback Braxton Miller, Ohio State went practically unchallenged through the regular season and entered the Big Ten championship game second in the BCS standings.
A berth in the national title game was there for the taking, but an outstanding 34-24 defeat versus the Michigan State Spartans on Dec. 7 ended that quickly.
The Tigers (10-2) also wanted to go for a national title especially after opening the season with six consecutive victories.
Clemson was ranked No. 3 heading into a home game versus the Florida State Seminoles on Oct. 19, but were whipped 51-14 and knocked out of the BCS conversation.
While the Tigers had a hard time versus Florida State and in a 31-17 defeat versus South Carolina Gamecocks in the regular-season finale, their offense has otherwise been amazing.
Clemson averaged 45.1 points and 534.6 yards in their victories, and are led by Boyd at quarterback and receiver Sammy Watkins. Boyd passed for 3,473 yards and 29 touchdowns, and he scored another nine TDs on the ground. According to the NCAA football odds, the senior’s 102 career touchdown passes are tied for 15th in major-college history.