Wednesday, January 4, 2012
1Q: Clemson 17, West Virginia 14
By Andrea Adelson
MIAMI -- Hello, offense! We have been expecting you.
Clemson and West Virginia were locked in the expected fireworks show in the highest-scoring first quarter ever of the Discover Orange Bowl. Clemson running back Andre Ellington opened the scoreing on a 68-yard run right up the middle of the West Virginia defense. Linebacker Jared Barber could not get off a block, and Darwin Cook took a bad angle for a tackle -- and Ellington was off for the third-longest run in Orange Bowl history.
Then it was Shawne Alston with a 4-yard touchdown run to get West Virginia on the board. True freshman Andrew Buie had the highlight on the drive, when he rolled over the back of would-be tackler Rashard Hall without allowing his knee to touch the ground.
Sammy Watkins answered with a 27-yard touchdown reception of his own later in the quarter -- marking the first time this season the West Virginia defense has given up multiple scores of 20-plus yards in a game. The touchdown also was the Tigers' 56th of the season, a new school record.
Then it was time for Tavon Austin, who scored on a 5-yard run. Austin, who came to West Virginia as a running back, is being used plenty out of the backfield -- he already has three carries for 25 yards and a score -- with Dustin Garrison on the sideline.
The longest scoring drive of the four in the first quarter belongs to West Virginia: Two minutes, 39 seconds. Each team has a touchdown drive that lasted under 2 minutes. Yup, this one has the feel of the back-and-forth shootout we all expected.