West Virginia vs Clemson and the 10 Highest Scoring Bowl Games in CFB History
I got to witness the beatdown by the beach firsthand at the 2012 Orange Bowl, as I watched my alma mater West Virginia rack up 70 points and 589 total yards on an overwhelmed Clemson Tigers team, which hit the mat in the second quarter after a few devastating left hooks from the Mountaineers.
The 70 points broke the postseason scoring record of 67 points that Baylor set in the Alamo Bowl just a few days ago.
So where does the one-sided Orange Bowl rank among the highest-scoring bowl games in history?
Here's a look at the 10 college football bowl games that put the most strain on stadium scoreboards.
2001 GMAC Bowl: Marshall 64, East Carolina 61
Total Points: 102 (regulation), 125 (after two overtimes)
Marshall QB Byron Leftwich led the Thundering Herd back from a 38-8 halftime deficit to beat his eventual successor in Jacksonville, David Garrard, and the East Carolina Pirates 64-61 in double overtime. Leftwich broke a bowl record by throwing for 576 yards.
2011 Alamo Bowl: Baylor 67, Washington 56
Total Points: 122
In an effort that ultimately cost Washington defensive coordinator Nick Holt his job, Washington's defense came out and got torched by Robert Griffin III, Terrance Ganaway and the rest of the Baylor offense, as the Bears rolled up 777 total yards and scored 67 points on the Huskies.
The terrible defensive play overshadowed Washington QB Keith Price's terrific performance. Price actually out-dueled RG3, as he threw for 438 yards and four touchdowns.
2012 Orange Bowl: West Virginia 70, Clemson 33
Total Points: 103
West Virginia took advantage of a huge momentum-swinging play that saw safety Darwin Cook scoop up a stripped Andre Ellington carry and run 99 yards for a game-changing touchdown in the second quarter of West Virginia's 70-33 annihilation of Clemson in the 2012 Orange Bowl.
That defensive play was the true game-changer, but it was the play of QB Geno Smith and WR Tavon Austin that really swung the momentum in the Mountaineers' favor.
Smith threw for 401 yards and hit six touchdown strikes, while Austin tallied four touchdowns of his own.
Dana Holgorsen's offense seems like it's finally clicked at West Virginia, and scoring a bowl record 70 points in a BCS victory is a pretty good way to start off a coaching tenure.
Video Courtesy of WestVirginiaU
2003 Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii 54, Houston 48
Total Points: 68 (regulation), 102 (after three overtimes)
Hawaii quarterback Timmy Chang came off the bench and threw for 475 yards and hit five touchdown passes, as he led the Warriors to a wild 54-48 win in triple-overtime.
2003 Insight Bowl: California 52, Virginia Tech 49
Total Points: 101
Virginia Tech was unable to hold onto a 28-21 halftime lead in what turned out to be a much more high-scoring affair than people were initially expecting.
California QB Aaron Rodgers led the Bears to 21 unanswered points to start the second quarter, but the Hokies clawed their way back to tie it at 49 all, before California kicker Tyler Frederickson nailed a game-winning field goal as time expired.
2007 MotorCity Bowl: Purdue 51, Central Michigan 48
Total Points: 99
Purdue couldn't hold onto its 34-13 halftime lead, but QB Curtis Painter, who threw for 534 yards, helped the Boilermakers outlast a feisty Central Michigan team.
Kicker Chris Summers knocked through the game-winning field goal as time expired to give Purdue a 51-48 victory.
2004 Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii 59, UAB 40
Total Points: 99
The 2004 Hawaii Bowl was one of the many versions of the game that got offensively out of control pretty quickly.
The Warriors pulled away from a 28-26 halftime lead by scoring 31 points in the second half behind the passing of record-setting QB Timmy Chang.
2010 Hawaii Bowl: Tulsa 62 Hawaii 35
Total Points: 97
Hawaii Quarterback Bryant Moniz and receivers Greg Salas and Kealoha Pilares were no match for Tulsa QB G.J. Kinne and WR Damaris Johnson, who teamed up to lead the Tulsa offense to 534 total yards and 62 points on just 48 plays.
In case you were wondering, records do indicate that Hawaii did in fact have 11 defenders on the field for every snap.
2005 Hawaii Bowl: Nevada 49, Central Florida 48
Total Points: 84 (regulation), 97 (after one overtime)
RB Kevin Smith and WR Brandon Marshall couldn't do enough to lift Central Florida past Nevada, as the Wolfpack escaped with a one-point win after Central Florida kicker Matt Prater missed a potential game-tying extra-point.
1995 Copper Bowl: Texas Tech 55, Air Force 41
Total Points: 96
After building a 31-13 halftime lead, Texas Tech managed to sprint their way to victory behind the running of game MVP Byron Hanspard who amassed 260 yards and scored four touchdowns.
Hanspard ended up leading the Red Raiders to a 55-41 victory.