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Ohio State loses second straight game, falls to Clemson, 40-35, in Orange Bowl

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The Ohio State Buckeyes are officially on a losing streak.

OSU lost its second straight game after winning 24 in a row over the last two seasons since Urban Meyer took over as head coach, falling to No. 12 Clemson (11-2, 7-1) in the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl, 40-35.

Tiger quarterback, redshirt-senior Tajh Boyd, led a high-powered offense that amassed 576 total yards against the Buckeyes (12-2, 8-1) and the Clemson defense did enough down the stretch to win the game, turning junior quarterback Braxton Miller over twice in the game’s final three minutes.

“We’re not a championship-caliber defense right now, although we think about the last two games, we were in position to go win (those) games,” Meyer said following the loss. “Our defense certainly made some plays to help us go win a game.”

Boyd scored on the game’s first drive, running 48 yards up the middle for a touchdown. After Miller scored on a 33-yard run on OSU’s next possession, Boyd connected with junior wide receiver Sammy Watkins from 34 yards out.

“I don’t know all the receivers in the country, but I can’t imagine any better than that guy,” Meyer said of Watkins in a post game press conference.

Junior linebacker Ryan Shazier agreed, saying that Watkins “was just making plays.”

“We had to get leverage and was losing leverage, and he was just taking it up the sideline,” Shazier said following the loss. “It was getting guys out of position. If we had leverage, we could have shut him down a little bit more, but we just didn’t do it.”

Following a safety late in the first quarter, Boyd extended the lead to 20-9 after he found junior wide receiver Martavis Bryant on a three yard touchdown pass.

The Buckeyes quickly responded, as Miller threw a touchdown pass, and ran for another to give OSU a 22-20 lead at halftime.

The Buckeyes would score again on the first possession of the second half, when senior running back Carlos Hyde found the end zone from one-yard out to extend the lead to 29-20.

But a muffed punt by senior wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown later in the third quarter lit a spark that led Clemson to score twice before the fourth quarter began. Boyd hit Watkins and then Bryant again to make the score 34-29.

OSU came back once again, when Miller hit Hyde from 14 yards out, and after a two-point play failed, OSU lead 35-34.

But Boyd led the Tigers back down the field, hitting redshirt-sophomore tight end Stanton Seckinger from five yards out to give Clemson the lead for good.

“It’s playing for these guys. I’ve learned so much and grown so much as a person since I’ve been here. And I can’t think of a better way to give back to school than a victory in this game,” Boyd said following the victory. “It was a very impressive victory for this team, this university. Can’t wait to celebrate with the guys.”

Miller fumbled on OSU’s next drive, but the Buckeye offense was given another shot when redshirt-senior safety C.J. Barnett picked off Boyd with just under 1:30 left.

Miller, however, threw his second interception of the game two plays later, sealing the win for Clemson.

Watkins was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, as he finished with Orange Bowl records of 16 catches for 227 yards and two touchdowns. Boyd was 31-40 passing for 378 yards and five touchdowns, also rushing for 127 yards for a touchdown.

“Tonight was just to go out there and have fun, go out with a bang, and get the 11-2 in back-to-back seasons and just finish off my legacy here and I definitely did that,” Watkins said about his performance during a post game press conference.

Miller finished with 234 passing yards and two touchdowns, while also scoring twice on the ground.

Looking ahead to next season, OSU is set to take on Navy Aug. 30 in Baltimore. For now, the loss will linger.

“Is this what we expect? No,” Meyer said, who lost his first BCS game of his career. “We expect top 10 defense at Ohio State, top 10 offense, and top 10 special teams, and I don’t believe we accomplished any of those.”

Junior wide receiver Sammy Watkins (2) pulls away as he runs with the ball. OSU lost against Clemson in the Orange Bowl Jan. 3, 40-35. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editor

Junior wide receiver Sammy Watkins (2) pulls away as he runs with the ball. OSU lost against Clemson in the Orange Bowl Jan. 3, 40-35. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editor


  1. Braxton is a stud for playing through so much obvious pain! Lots of respect for guys playing with injuries, the flu, etc. keep it positive. In the end, it is about knowing you did your best and the friendships and memories made along the way. O-H.

  2. did anyone else feel we got out muscled by a team that mentally wanted to win this game more than the bucks and physically was in better shape to accomplish the goal? they out muscled us and
    played to win while the bucks appeared to play not to loose.

    did any one get tired of missing live plays on espn while viewing replays? espn must be stretched too thin with their production staff as their director on this broadcast must have enjoyed south beach atmosphere a bit too much on Wednesday eve!

  3. it felt like clemosn outplayed and out willed osu. while the buckeyes had a few moments of great play, in general they were outplayed and out coached. if miller was injured why keep him in when a proven substitute was available? it was obvious about half way through the first quarter who would win..pity. the post season curse continues and all those critics insisting OSU has been over rated now have more fuel.

  4. I think it was a muffed punt return by Philly Brown, not a muffed punt

  5. Good luck selling the house, Luke.

  6. The Buckeyes were outplayed. Honestly, they are no better than top 10.
    Hopefully they get their D together next year. And hopefully Braxton stays.
    Go Buckeyes!

  7. Clemson’s D line was one of the best we played this year….their O line made holes big enough to drive a Hummer through..cudos to Clemson…but more often than not, the Buckeye defense looked confused, out of sync, and in the end whipped….you knew they wouldn’t stop a Clemson drive in the end because it wasn’t in them….they got exposed again…

  8. As for the announcers ? They were pathatic

  9. Its not all on Coach Fickle. He doesn’t coach the secondary. Besides, there is plenty of blame, suspensions for example. Not to mention starting freshmen, injuries etc. I hope that somewhere down the line the secondary coaches will focus on actually tackling not just trying to hit a guy…. That’s poor form. As for Luke, I’m afraid he’s gonna be the fall guy. Thanks for taking the hit after the Tress-mess, here are some parting gifts ( I hope).

  10. Last interception for CU was a drop and Meyer should have played Guiton for the last 5 minutes!

  11. 1. We play the first part of our season against scheduled junk teams, guaranteeing the wins the alums like to see but not challenging our talent to develop into a true national top team.
    2. We even STRUGGLED this year against some of those junk teams,
    3. By the time we got to Michigan State, they figured out by watching our films that the buckeyes were actually the “Braxton-Carlos” offense with a weak defense. Michigan State AND Clemson figured out how to stop the Braxton-Carlos offense, and without a strong defense, the rest was…history.
    4. Our kids played their hearts out all season. The Big10 and the OSU Athletic Department sold their sold for the big ticket sales of easy wins. And it hurt everyone in the end.

  12. Florida BigBuckeye

    Something has to be done within the coaching staff @ OSU. First and foremost, no excuses for the defense, OSU recruits some of the best talent in the USA, yet I believe the coaching within the area is substandard. OSU certainly has the means to recruit the very best in defensive coaching talent, they need to act on that, IMMEDIATELY ! Secondly, who is calling the plays on offense…while I applaud the actions of BM, he should have been pulled and replaced by Kenny G…and lastly, Clemson came to make a statement, OSU looked like they were playing not to lose the game, and in the end, they made way to many mistakes. I pray they make some serious adjustments during this off season, or 2014 will be another challenging year. Best of Luck Buckeyes, be STRONG !!!

  13. We have to improve our defense for the 2014-2015 season ! Dan Schwardt OSU Class of 1958 !

  14. Completely agree Dee! I think Guiton would have given us a shot at the end! Braxton just didn't have anything left! And definitely should have challenged that last interception!

  15. Same ending as Alabama’s season. No defense down the stretch and no changes in the defensive scheme to try to shake things up. But, 12-2 is nothing to sneeze at. We’ll see how/if Meyer reacts to some adversity. Hopefully, he doesn’t cut and run. The interception was legit. He dropped the ball only after completing the play. Guiton, well that’s another story. To come on completely cold, it probably wouldn’t have made a difference. Clemson made Swiss cheese of our offensive line the whole game. They were the better team and wanted it more.

  16. Thank you for a great year Buckeyes. Fans need to remember that no team plays in the National Championship every year. The “SEC” is not a single university – the “SEC” has won a lot but not just one program in the SEC. It’s impossible for any one program to sustain that level of excellence. So this year was not a perfect year. The kids played hard and for the most part stayed out of trouble. We won a lot of games. The kids made the university a crap ton of money which helps build library’s and rec centers etc. We were invited to a bowl game where we had a decent showing and stayed within a touchdown of the other team. Some players made mistakes some times. Other times they were excellent. No different than any of you at your school or jobs. The coaches will do their best because they want to win. The players will try their best. In the end another team may still be better. It will be OK.

  17. Clemson played super! We just expect more from a 10 million dollar coach!

  18. Coach Urban Myer is responsible for The Ohio State University loss to Clemson. His statements of, “we’re not a championship-caliber defense right now” and “Ohio State expects top 10 defense, top 10 offense, and top 10 special teams” are Myer’s excuses. Braxton Miller was crushed. Clemson knew to crush Braxton Miller because stubborn Myer would leave him in. What is so difficult about substituting? Kenny Guiton proved himself early in the season by stepping up. Kenny Guiton earned the right to be given a chance to help out an injured teammate. Coach Myer failed by allowing his false sense of ego and lack of compassion dominate over making decisions of doing what’s right. Coach Myer is one person representing the state of Ohio, The Ohio State University, and Team Buckeyes. Ohio expects a top 10 Coach from the millions Myer gets paid.

  19. Don't expect too much of Urban, he doesn't handle pressure well.

  20. OSU lose again because of arrogance and greed. New changes must be made. These include new head coach, an equal mixture of players from various cultures (too many “brothers”), change in mascot (buckeye world is “cow town”, unexciting, bland, fairy, and primitive}. Above all, the field is too artificial which impedes in the natural conditioning and strengthening of players physiological attributes. Also, the theme song needs to be changed. Zombie and song for the dead

  21. I speak for a whole family of loyal Buckeyes when I say, “Our season was sacrificed by Urban Meyer’s failure to utilize talent.” We all remember the results of his two quarterback system at Florida. What did Kenny Guiton do that was so bad that he only saw the field for extra points and mop-up time. Did Urban not want to hurt Braxton’s confidence by playing Guiton? If so, then our season was sacrificed to save BM ego. Either way the season sucked. I could go on, but we know Urban isn’t going to read this. Also, I’m really tired of dual-threat quarterbacks who can’t throw (Pryor and Miller) Thanks and Go Bucks!

  22. Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.”
    She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

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