Orange Bowl 2014 Clemson vs. Ohio State: Live Game Grades, Analysis for Tigers

Chris StephensCorrespondent IIJanuary 3, 2014

COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 30:  Tajh Boyd #10 of the Clemson Tigers drops back to pass during their game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 30, 2013 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Clemson Tigers won in a shootout over the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Orange Bowl.

Final: Clemson 40, Ohio State 35

For full stats, check out

Clemson Tigers Game Grades
Position Unit1st-Half GradeFinal Grade
Pass OffenseBA
Rush OffenseBA-
Pass DefenseD+B-
Rush DefenseB-C+
Special TeamsC+C+
vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

Final Analysis for Clemson Tigers

Pass Offense: Tajh Boyd finished 30-of-39 with five touchdowns and two interceptions. He nearly gave the game away with a late interception, but the defense bailed him out. Sammy Watkins had 16 catches for 227 yards.

Rush Offense: Boyd led the way on the ground as well, rushing for 128 yards on 19 carries. In total, the Tigers had 206 yards on the ground as Ohio State struggled to contain Boyd all night.

Pass Defense: Stephone Anthony came up huge with an interception late to seal the win for Clemson. Braxton Miller finished 18-of-26 for 246 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Rush Defense: Ohio State rushed for 181 yards on 46 carries with Carlos Hyde leading the way with 101 yards. Clemson was dominant up front and found themselves in the backfield on multiple occasions.

Special Teams: Clemson benefited from a huge turnover on special teams on a fumbled punt return. The Tigers proceeded 

Coaching: The game was close throughout, but in the end, the Clemson coaches made the better calls to propel the Tigers to the win.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 03: Sammy Watkins #2 of the Clemson Tigers runs with the ball in the first half against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 3, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike E
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

First-Half Analysis for Clemson Tigers

Pass Offense: Tajh Boyd completed 15-of-19 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns. However, Boyd made a huge mistake, trying to flick the ball over a defender for a touchdown pass, but it was grabbed out of the air by an Ohio State defender instead.

Rush Offense: Clemson has 139 yards on 18 carries as Boyd leads with 67 yards. The Tigers have shown good balance and it's a huge reason why they hold the lead in the game. Look for more of the same in the second half.

Pass Defense: Braxton Miller has only thrown the ball nine times for 169 yards, but it's been enough for the Buckeyes in the first half. Clemson did get decent pressure in, but it wasn't enough as Ohio State took the lead late.

Rush Defense: Clemson has held Ohio State to 85 yards on 25 carries, keeping Carlos Hyde in check with only 37 yards on 13 carries. If the Tigers continue this, Ohio State will be in trouble in the second half.

Special Teams: Bradley Pinion has a 42-yard punt and an extra point was missed. The Tigers did block an Ohio State extra point, so no harm, no foul.

Coaching: The coaches have done their job, utilizing the weapons they have on both sides of the ball. The Tigers came in prepared for this game.