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Friday, December 20, 2013

Ohio State vs Clemson Bowl Preview

Discover Orange Bowl Clemson vs. Ohio State, Jan. 3 (ESPN, 8:30 p.m. ET) Why to watch: The Orange Bowl might feature the best matchup of quarterbacks: Clemson's Tajh Boyd vs. Ohio State's Braxton Miller. Boyd threw for 3,473 yards with 29 touchdowns and nine interceptions, while Miller threw for 1,860 yards with 22 touchdowns and five interceptions. The Buckeyes and Tigers have played only once previously -- the infamous 1978 Gator Bowl in which OSU coach Woody Hayes punched Clemson linebacker Charlie Bauman after he intercepted a pass in the Tigers' 17-15 win. Hayes was fired the next morning. Who to watch: Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins, a Biletnikoff Award finalist, had 85 catches for 1,237 yards with 10 touchdowns, bouncing back from what was a mediocre sophomore season in 2012. Watkins could find holes in OSU's secondary, which hasn't been the same since safety Christian Bryant broke his ankle in the Big Ten opener. Cornerback Bradley Roby struggled at times this season, but will be an intriguing matchup against Watkins. Motivating factor for Clemson: Few teams figure to be more motivated than Clemson, which will be trying to make amends for its embarrassing 70-33 loss to West Virginia in the 2012 Orange Bowl. The Tigers surrendered 595 yards of offense and 10 touchdowns in the beatdown. Motivating factor for Ohio State: The Buckeyes had won 24 games in a row before losing to Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game. But there wasn't a lot of meat on the winning streak, and beating an opponent of Clemson's caliber might quiet some critics. Pick: Clemson 27, Ohio State 24 According to www.espn.com

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