FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said his team is as healthy as it's been since early in the season.
Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (concussion) will play. Left tackle Phillip Price (knee) is near complete health as are tight end Dwayne Allen (turf toe) and receiver Sammy Watkins (shoulder).
Clemson coordinator Chad Morris thinks running back Andre Ellington will be 100 percent for Wednesday night's Orange Bowl after dealing with an ankle injury for much of the second half of the season. With little running back depth, a healthy Ellington is key to offensive balance.
"I didn't know if he was quite 100 percent, but obviously he played that (ACC) championship game like he was," Morris said. "I think you're going to see Andre back to where he would be at the first of fall camp."
Clemson's only significant injured player is freshman Tony Steward (torn ACL), who is out for the game. West Virginia will be without starting running back Dustin Garvin and safety Terence Garvin.
Swinney said there had been had no curfew issues or violations of team rules as of Tuesday morning.
"That's a pretty good sign we're focused," Swinney said.
Swinney told reporters Tuesday that if he had last year's defense with this year's offense, his team would be playing in the national title game. Swinney predicted an ACC team will win a national title in the not-too-distant future. "It's coming," Swinney said.
West Virginia allowed sacks on only 5.2 percent of all pass attempts this season. Part of the protection can be attributed to All Big East left tackle Jon Barclay, but Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said much of the credit belongs to quarterback Geno Smith, who gets the ball out quickly. Steele notes West Virginia rarely helps block with tight ends and running backs, placing a premium on quick QB release times. Smith has started every game despite West Virginia's struggles to find solutions at right guard and right tackle along its offensive front.
An odd stack
Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen said West Virginia's 3-3-5 defense offers Clemson a new challenge. "West Virginia's defense is something you don't normally see," Allen said. "They have skilled players all over the board. They have guys that can run and that create mismatch problems for our offense. … We don't see this defense, period, in the ACC."
Swinney said he remembers watching the 1981 Orange Bowl as a 12-year-old back in Pelham, Alabama. Swinney said all of Alabama tuned in as Clemson coach Danny Ford was a former player and assistant coach at Alabama. Swinney also added that there weren't many other options as "there were only about three channels."
Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd knows Smith as Boyd has originally verbally committed to attend West Virginia.
"I think things really fell into place with Geno Smith and I," Boyd said. "I have had success at Clemson and (Geno Smith) has had success over there. I think things could not have turned out better in regards to our situations."