MIAMI — When the Orange Bowl committee picked Clemson and Ohio State to play in the 80th edition of the game it said it was looking for “offensive fireworks.”
The artillery is bare and the sky has been set ablaze.
Friday night’s Orange Bowl was a dizzying display of offense, as Clemson and Ohio State traded scores throughout a defense-optional, penalty-heavy contest that was as bizarre as it was entertaining.
Stanton Seckinger’s 5-yard touchdown catch gave Clemson a 40-35 lead with six minutes left, and Braxton Miller’s fumble three minutes later looked to have sealed a Clemson win.
It took two more turnovers in the final minutes of the game — but the scoreline remained. Tajh Boyd’s interception in the final two minutes was reciprocated by Miller two plays later, and Clemson ran out the clock to win its third Orange Bowl in program history.
Sammy Watkins, likely playing in his final game for Clemson, shattered the Orange Bowl receiving record, amassing 227 yards on 16 receptions to go with two touchdowns Friday. He was named the game’s MVP.
Martavis Bryant also added two touchdown catches to the Clemson cause, his second being a spectacular, second-effort grab that will lead his highlight reel for years to come.
Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd had 497 yards of total offense and six touchdowns (five passing, one rushing) to cap his college career.