Clemson upsets Ohio State in Orange Bowl (The SportsXchange)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Quarterback Tajh Boyd and wide receiver Sammy Watkins couldn’t be stopped. Quarterback Braxton Miller, after a strong start, was stopped when it mattered most. That, in essence was the story of the Orange Bowl game, a wild 40-35 upset win for the No. 12 Clemson Tigers over the No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes Friday night at Sun Life Stadium. A senior playing his final college game, Boyd completed 30 of 39 passes for 370 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. He also ran 20 times for 127 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown run up the middle that was the longest of his career. Watkins, a junior from near-by Fort Myers, Fla., was named the game’s MVP after he caught 16 passes and set an Orange Bowl receiving record with 227 yards. He also scored two touchdowns. “When you have a guy that has that much vertical speed, he is tough to defend,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said of Watkins. “I don’t know all the receivers in the country, but I would doubt there are any better than him.” Watkins said Friday night’s performance was easily explained. “Tajh and I have been together for three years,” he said. “We have great chemistry.” Clemson improved to 11-2 for the second straight season, which is the most wins in any two-year period in school history. Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said he was proud of his team, especially after they took a 70-33 loss to West Virginia three years ago in the Orange Bowl. “You don’t luck up and get to BCS games — you earn your way there,” he said. “Two years ago, it was probably unthinkable for most people after that butt-whipping we took (against West Virginia) that we would be 22-4 since that night. “Five years ago (when he took the Clemson job), I didn’t have much of a resume, and it wasn’t very sexy to come to Clemson. These guys believed in me, starting with Tajh Boyd. I sat at his kitchen table in Virginia. I told him if you believe in me, we will change Clemson. All these seniors changed Clemson.” Friday’s winning touchdown was a five-yard toss from Boyd to tight end Stanton Beckinger with 6:16 left in the fourth quarter. The two-point conversion pass failed. Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller was sacked — with a lost fumble — and intercepted on the Buckeyes’ final two possessions. OSU (12-2) and Clemson traded touchdowns early in the third quarter. The Buckeyes converted a fourth-and-one play with a 31-yard gain by running back Carlos Hyde. On the next play, Hyde ran one yard for a touchdown. Clemson capitalized on a fumble by punt returner Philly Brown, which was recovered by safety Robert Smith at the OSU 33. …

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