Orange Bowl: West Virginia 70 Clemson 33
Thu, 05 Jan 2012 05:24:02 GMT —
The 23rd ranked West Virginia Mountaineers beat the 14th ranked Clemson Tigers 70-33 in the Orange Bowl on Wednesday night, before a crowd of 67,563 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. West Virginia's 70 points was the most ever scored in a bowl game.
West Virginia also set a college football bowl record for most points in a half. They scored 49 over the first two quarters, despite trailing 17-14 after the opening quarter. The 31 points combined by Clemson and West Virginia was the highest-scoring first quarter in Orange Bowl history. The Mountaineers outscored Clemson 35-3 in the second quarter to take a 49-20 lead at intermission.
Clemson started the game strong with Andre Ellington scoring on a 68 yard romp. It was the third longest run from scrimmage in Orange Bowl history. Then freshman Sammy Watkins caught his 12th TD pass of the year. But from there, the Tigers imploded. Clemson turned the ball over four times and allowed 593 total yards to the West Virginia offense.
Ellington had 10 carries for 116 yards on the night. With Clemson trailing 21-17 in the second quarter, Ellington fumbled. The ball was scooped up by Darwin Cook and returned 99 yards for a West Virginia touchdown. It was the longest defensive score in Orange Bowl history. DeAndre Hopkins led all Clemson receivers with 10 catches for 107 yards and one TD.
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith was voted Orange Bowl MVP. He threw for a BCS bowl record six TD passes and ran for another in the Mountaineer victory. Smith threw 42 times, completing 31 passes for 401 yards, breaking Tom Brady's record for most passing yards in an Orange Bowl. West Virginia's Tavon Austin had four TD grabs.
Cheraw product Jaron Brown had two catches for 24 yards. He also returned two kickoffs for 36 yards for Clemson.
The Tigers lost four of their last six games to close out the season with a record of 10-4. The Mountaineers ended the season 10-3 after coming away with a win in their first trip to the Orange Bowl.
Clemson continued a horrible trend in big bowl games by the Atlantic Coast Conference. The ACC is now 2-13 lifetime in BCS bowls. The ACC finished this bowl season with a 2-6 record.