Taking a look at Ohio State’s postseason opponent as it tries to move on from its loss in the Big Ten championship and looks to begin a new winning streak after the school-record 24-game string was snapped. Discover Orange Bowl: No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. No. 12 Clemson Tigers in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Friday, Jan. 3.
Coach: Dabo Swinney (five full seasons)
Record: 10-2, 7-1 in Atlantic Coast Conference
Combined opponents’ record: 81-65
Common opponents: None
Leading passer: Tajh Boyd, 252 for 373 for 3,473 yards, 29 touchdowns and 9 interceptions
Leading rusher: Roderick McDowell, 177 carries for 956 yards and 5 touchdowns
Leading receiver: Sammy Watkins, 85 catches for 1,237 yards and 10 touchdowns
Leading tackler: Spencer Shuey, 89 tackles, 5.5 for a loss
Dabo Swinney has led Clemson to three consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins.What to know: Thanks to a successful run on the recruiting trail and a prolific offensive scheme, Clemson has built itself into a program that appears ready to contend annually for at least a conference title under Swinney. The Tigers haven’t yet climbed over the hump into position to play for a national title, but after overcoming a rough patch during his second full season that seemed to put Swinney on the hot seat, they certainly seem to be headed in the right direction. Clemson has won at least 10 games three seasons in a row, and it will be making its second appearance in the Orange Bowl in three years. The first trip didn’t turn out well as West Virginia put up 70 points in a blowout victory over the Tigers after the 2011 season, again putting their defense under fire after failing to do much to support a high-flying offensive attack that typically has no problems carrying its share of the load.
This year, that defensive unit has been steady and solid, giving up just more than 21 points per game to rank No. 17 in the nation. That helps balance the scales with an offense that scores more than 40 points on average. The Tigers were gashed, though, in top-25 matchups against Florida State and South Carolina, yielding 51 to the No. 1 Seminoles and 31 to the rival Gamecocks to close the regular season.
Continue reading this article at ESPN: Bowl primer: Discover Orange Bowl