Friday, January 3, 2014

Cram Session - Bowl Edition

Orange Bowl

#12 Clemson (10-2) vs. #7 Ohio State (12-1) in Miami, Florida

I am almost scared to pick this game with how off I have been the last few nights. Much like Alabama, the question going into this game is how motivated will the Buckeyes be after being so close to playing for the national championship. If they end up not being as motivated as Clemson, then the Tigers will roll them, like the Sooners did the Tide last night.

Both teams feature very accomplished offenses and defenses that have trouble matching that lofty status. Each team averaged over 500 yards in offense per game this season but did it in different ways. Clemson is mostly a pass first team, with the combination of QB Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins. This could be Watkins last game as he seems ready to tear up the pros. After a downer of a year in 2012, he bounced back in a big way this year, finishing with 85 catches, 1, 237 yards receiving, and 10 touchdowns. Watkins could be in line for a huge game against a porous Buckeye secondary. Also in line for a big game is WR Martavis Bryant, who averages an absurd 20 yards per reception. The Buckeyes will also be without defensive end Noah Spence, who led the team in sacks. He was suspended for using a banned supplement.

The Buckeyes get most of their offense from the legs of QB Braxton Miller and RB Carlos Hyde. Miller threw for 1,860 yards and rushed for 1,033 yards. Clemson's defense is strong against the pass, but not the run, so the Buckeyes should be able to impose their will on the Tiger defense. If Clemson can get some pressure on the Buckeyes, they might be able to force turnovers and keep the Buckeyes off balance that way. But if I am Urban Meyer I plan on a run heavy offense, only passing enough to keep Clemson honest on defense.

I think tonight is finally the night I will successfully pick a BCS game. This should be another entertaining BCS game and I expect both offenses to mostly have their way. I just think the style and physicality of Ohio State will be the difference, as they will pound the Tigers defense into submission.

Prediction: Ohio State 38, Clemson 34

Overall: 113-30

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