Orange Bowl – Ohio State Buckeyes vs Clemson Tigers
Date and Time: Friday 1/3/14 at 8:30pm on ESPN
Game Line: Ohio State -3 (from JustBet)
Friday’s Orange Bowl NCAA Football Analysis:
It took some time for Ohio State to get over the disappointment of not playing for the BCS national championship. The Buckeyes insist they’re now focused on the Orange Bowl. The reality of facing Tajh Boyd and the Clemson high powered offense with a vulnerable defense should grab the teams attention. In what is shaping up to be one of the season’s more entertaining bowls, two of the nation’s most prolific offenses will be on display when seventh-ranked Ohio State and No. 12 Clemson square off in Miami. Playing for the national title was the goal from the start for Ohio State (12-1), which was 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, the Buckeyes went virtually 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 a stunning 34-24 loss to Michigan State on in the Big Ten Championship game dashed those dreams. Clemson also had national title aspirations after opening the season with six consecutive wins. The Tigers were ranked third heading into a home matchup with Florida State on Oct. 19, but were whipped 51-14 and knocked out of the BCS conversation. While Clemson struggled against the Seminoles and in a 31-17 loss to rival South Carolina in the regular-season finale, its offense has otherwise been sensational. The Tigers averaged 45.1 points and 534.6 yards in their wins, 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. The senior’s 102 career touchdown passes are tied for 15th in major-college history. As teams have tried to gameplan to stop Boyd and the passing attack, holes have opened up for running back Randy McDowell. The senior rushed for 510 yards and five touchdowns, and had another two receiving scores in the final five regular-season games. Clemson has the weapons on both sides of the ball, a superior defense and the motivation factor in their favor in this contest, there’s no reason to think they can’t come out of the Orange Bowl with a win, let alone covering the spread.
Ohio State vs Clemson NCAA Football Picks: Clemson +3 and over 69.5
Ohio State vs Clemson Game Prediction: 42-31 Clemson
What to expect in the 2013 Orange Bowl: The Clemson offense is one of the few in the country that can match up player for player with the Ohio State offense. If they can get ahead early and take the Buckeyes dynamic rushing attack out of the game they should lead this one from start to finish. Ohio State has to be down after missing the National Championship game while Clemson should be ready to play for this one. Neither defense is very dynamic but the Clemson passing game will be the difference maker early in this game.