Well, surely fans of the Ohio State Buckeyes are disappointed that their team was not able to get the win over the Clemson Tigers in the Orange Bowl. As a whole, though, the game lived up to its expectations and did not disappoint.
Ohio State is still trying to live down blowout losses they suffered in the 2006 and 2007 BCS title games against the Florida Gators and LSU Tigers, and they made some progress on Friday night against Clemson. It looked like it would be a blowout again as the Tigers went up 20-9 in the first half, but Ohio State came back to score 13 unanswered points to go into halftime with a 22-20 lead. The scoring between the two teams was back and forth all night and provided a thrilling game.
Many were excited to see the battle of Braxton Miller and Tajh Boyd. Boyd was considered to be a lock for Ohio State out of high school but switched to Clemson at the last minute. The Orange Bowl was a battle between two very different quarterbacks — one of which could’ve ended up at Ohio State and made their offense very different from what it is now, and then there’s Miller who provides plenty of excitement with his legs instead of his arm.
Miller used his arm more than usual in this game and was successful doing so. He completed 16 of his 24 pass attempts for 234 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 35 yards and two touchdowns. Boyd outplayed Miller as he passed for 378 yards and five touchdowns while also rushing for 127 yards and a touchdown of his own. Both of them helped their own cause to begin the game as Boyd rushed for Clemson’s first touchdown and Miller answered a few minutes later with a rushing touchdown for the Buckeyes. Miller copied Boyd once again late in the fourth quarter, but this time it was not a good thing. Boyd threw an interception, and it looked promising for the Buckeyes to head down the field and score the game-winning touchdown. However, a very shaken up Miller could not take advantage of the opportunity and threw an interception of his own two plays later to seal the win for Clemson.
It was no doubt an exciting game to watch. Both offenses provided plenty of excitement, and it wasn’t just the quarterbacks. In the receiving game, Sammy Watkins proved to be too much for the struggling Ohio State defense, making 16 receptions for 227 yards and two touchdowns. Ohio State’s Corey “Philly” Brown was impressive as well, making eight catches for 116 yards but no touchdowns. It almost makes up for his muffed punt that was recovered by Clemson in Ohio State territory. Almost. As usual, Carlos Hyde did not disappoint as he rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown along with two catches for 39 yards and a touchdown. The Buckeyes will surely miss him next season as he heads to the NFL.
If you did not watch this game then you missed out on yet another exciting bowl game that came down to the wire. It is hard to beat that great quarterback matchup and the explosiveness of both offenses. It is no doubt disappointing for the Buckeyes since they had a lot to prove in this game, but they have to be happy that they fought a good battle.
Look at it this way, Ohio State fans. Since they lost this game and did not get their shot at a national title this season, maybe Miller and linebacker Ryan Shazier will decide to stay and help the Buckeyes go for the national title next season. You never know; it could happen.