Clemson to meet Big East power West Virginia in Orange Bowl
CLEMSON -- A day after clinching its first Orange Bowl berth in 30 years Clemson learned it will play West Virginia in the BCS bowl game at 8 p.m. on Jan. 4 in Miami (ESPN).
No. 14 Clemson (11-3) clinched an Orange Bowl bid with an Atlantic Coast Conference title on Saturday night but waited until Sunday to officially learn it will play No. 23 West Virginia (9-3), which finished in a three-way, first-place tie in the Big East.
"We are especially happy to be in the Discover Orange Bowl because it is the site of our greatest accomplishment in the history of the program 30 years ago this season," coach Dabo Swinney said, referencing Clemson's 1982 Orange Bowl win against Nebraska, which secured the program's only national title.
There will be no shortage of offense in the game as first-year West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen, a disciple of Mike Leach, led the Mountaineers to the nation's No. 17 offense. Clemson ranks 29th in total offense.
The passing games are particularly effective as Clemson is 21st in the nation in passing yards per game with 285, while West Virginia is seventh with 342 yards per game.
Both quarterbacks rank among the best in the nation in terms of passing efficiency and total offense. Clemson's Tajh Boyd is 18th in total offense yards per game, a school record total, while West Virginia's Geno Smith is ninth.
"I think you have two very capable offenses with the success both of us have had this year," Swinney said.
The Tigers and Mountaineers meet for just the second time and first time since a Clemson, 27-7 win at the 1989 Gator Bowl. Clemson is making its fourth Orange Bowl appearance (1951, 1957, 1982).
Bellamy suspended indefinitely
Swinney said freshman running back Mike Bellamy has been suspended indefinitely. Bellamy traveled with the team to Charlotte but was sent home before the ACC title game after an undisclosed violation of team rules.
"He's suspended indefinitely," Swinney said. "He's not been as focused as I want him to be."
Price should be OK
Swinney said left tackle Phillip Price reinjured his right knee Saturday but Swinney expects him to be fine for the bowl game. Swinney said the month of rest will is "just what doctor order for our football team."