Orange Bowl preview: Clemson vs. Ohio State

01/02/2014 11:30 AM

11/12/2014 3:35 PM

Discover Orange Bowl

No. 12 Clemson vs. No. 7 Ohio State

7:30 p.m. Friday, Sun Life Stadium, Miami

TV: ESPN

Records: Clemson 10-2, 7-1 ACC; Ohio State 12-1, 8-1 Big Ten

Key points: Ohio State has lost just one game in two seasons with Urban Meyer as its coach, but the Buckeyes are still fighting a battle against the perception that they are overrated. Ohio State missed out on a bowl game last season because of NCAA sanctions. The Buckeyes have also been criticized for playing easy schedules. Ohio State had a chance to play Florida State in the BCS National Championship Game, but the Buckeyes were upset by Michigan State in the Big Ten title game. Now Ohio State will have to prove itself against a seasoned Clemson squad led by senior quarterback Tajh Boyd, who has thrown for 3,473 yards and 29 touchdowns this season. Clemson started the season with a win against then-No. 5 Georgia, but the Tigers were blown out by Florida State and South Carolina. The Big Ten is 2-4 in bowl games. Michigan State made a statement with a Rose Bowl win against Stanford. Now it’s Ohio State’s time. A win against Clemson will do much for the Buckeyes’ and Big Ten’s reputations. A loss will bring another year of criticism.

— Brent Shirley

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