Although the Clemson Tigers didn’t win the ACC title in 2013, they can still consider the season a successful one, making a BCS bowl as the second-best team from the conference. Their only two losses of the season had come at the hands of top-10 teams.
The Ohio State Buckeyes are disappointed with the way their conference season ended after going undefeated in the regular season. Ohio State lost a tough game against the Michigan State Spartans in which their 24-game win streak came to and end.
Clemson has been one of those teams that have been extremely difficult to measure. It’s hard to tell if they are a legitimate contender than could beat anyone in the nation or just a team that made it through an easy conference schedule to play for a BCS bowl. Well, one thing is for sure: Tajh Boyd is one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. Boyd has passed for 3,473 yards and 29 touchdowns on the year, hitting Sammy Watkins a team-high 85 times for 1,237 yards and 10 touchdowns. Boyd also adds another 273 yards and nine rushing touchdowns to his impressive stat line.
Ohio State might not be playing for a national championship like they would have hoped, but a 24-1 record since Urban Meyer took over a season ago is nothing short of impressive. Braxton Miller‘s Heisman hopes might be dashed as well, but his 1,860 yards and 22 touchdowns to go along with his 1,033 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground put him in an exclusive club of dual-threat quarterbacks. Both Philly Brown and Devin Smith have 655 yards each and have combined for 18 touchdowns. Carlos Hyde leads the fourth-best run game in the nation with 1,408 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Defensively, the Tigers have been solid this season. Clemson ranks 38th in yards allowed per game with just under 380 and 17th in points allowed per game. Ohio State ranks 21st in points allowed per game as well as 47th in yards allowed per game.
Ohio State and Clemson will face off for the 2014 Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla., at a time to be determined on Friday, Jan. 3. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN.
PREDICTION: Ohio State 30, Clemson 24
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.