West Virginia vs. Clemson: 5 Things We Learned from the BCS Orange Bowl

Randy ChambersAnalyst IJanuary 5, 2012

West Virginia vs. Clemson: 5 Things We Learned from the BCS Orange Bowl

0 of 5

    We expected a ton of points in the BCS Orange Bowl and that's exactly what we got. What we didn't expect was such a lopsided score, and surprisingly we got that as well.

    West Virginia won the game by a score of 70-33 and left many Tiger fans stunned.

    This was a huge win for the Mountaineers as they are likely headed to the tough Big 12 conference. This is an extremely disappointing loss for Clemson and will likely have them wondering what wrong all offseason.

    As another bowl game is now in the record books, here are five things we learned in the BCS Orange Bowl.

Shawne Alston Deserves More Touches Next Year

1 of 5

    Shawne Alston got the start in this game due to an injury to starter Dustin Garrison. And he didn't disappoint as he finished the game with 78 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He averaged nearly five yards per touch.

    Alston isn't a speedster and he is a down hill runner, but he is a tough runner and has a nose for the end zone.

    Dustin Garrison will remain the starter next season, but the senior to be should get more touches than he did in years past.

West Virginia Is in Good Hands

2 of 5

    What a first year for head coach Dana Holgorsen. A 10-3 season and a slaughter in the Orange Bowl over a top ACC team isn't shabby at all.

    This is a huge win for the current team, that will be returning several key players. It's also huge for recruiting, and it puts them on the map as they head into the Big 12 conference. The Mountaineers are loaded with talented players, and the future never looked so bright for them.

    Many questioned if they'd be able to handle it in the Big 12. I think this game really helped answer that question. 

Can't Win Games When You Turn the Ball over

3 of 5

    I've said all week that this game would come down to turnovers and although there may have been other factors, turnovers didn't help Clemson.

    Before this game, both teams had lost three games. In three losses for Clemson, they turned the ball over nine times. West Virginia turned the ball over a total of eight times in their three losses. Clemson looses the Orange Bowl and turned the ball over a total of four times.

    It's hard to win when you give the ball away, especially when it falls in the hands of an explosive offense.

Clemson Isn't Quite There Yet

4 of 5

    Despite what the final score said, Clemson did have a successful season finishing the year with a 10-4 record. They have one of the most explosive offenses in the country and will have quite a few players returning next season.

    But they aren't a national contender just yet.

    This team still has work to do, as they struggle on defense and play very inconsistent. They started the year off 8-0 and ended up losing four of their final six games.

    This team is still good and fun to watch when they're clicking, but I wouldn't call them a contender just yet with the way they collapsed at the end of the year.

Tavon Austin Is a Star

5 of 5

    Coming into the game, all anybody talked about was Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Sure, he is a great player and has an extremely bright future. But can junior wide receiver Tavon Austin get some love?

    The kid can flat out fly and was a stud in this game. He finished the game with over 150 total yards and four total touchdowns.

    Those numbers weren't surprising considering this was his biggest year as he had over 1,000 receiving yards and over 90 catches.

    Austin is a name people will remember heading into next season and possibly put himself on the Heisman radar after this performance.

    Randy Chambers is a B/R Featured Columnist that covers College Football and the NFL. You can contact him @Randy_Chambers or Randy.Chambers7@yahoo.com