WVU’s Top 12 Headlines Of 2012: #4-6

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#4 WVU defeats Clemson 70 – 33 in the 2012 Orange Bowl

January 4, 2012; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen and quarterback Geno Smith (12) pose with the trophy following their 70-33 victory over Clemson in the 2012 Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

The Mountaineers started off 2012 right by destroying Clemson 70 – 33 in the Orange Bowl to make WVU 3 for 3 in BCS Bowl Games. I was lucky enough to attend this game (with fellow HailWVer Patrick Pishko) and have seats 13 rows off the field in a section full of player’s families (thanks, Ollie!). What a game this was. Early on, the game looked like it was going to be back and forth the whole time. Neither defense could make a stop. The game turned in the second quarter when Clemson, trailing 21-17 at the time, was going into the end zone to take back the lead.

Jan 4, 2012; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers defensive back Darwin Cook (25) returns a fumble by the Clemson Tigers for a touchdown during the second quarter of the 2012 Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

As a Clemson running back tried to make his way into the endzone, Darwin Cook somehow emerged with the football and returned it 99 yards for a Mountaineer touchdown, giving WVU a 28-17 lead. We never looked back from there.

Truth be told, Holgorsen shut the offense down midway through the third quarter when WVU went up 63 – 20. We easily could have scored 84 points and probably could have pushed for 100. Geno ended up with 407 yards passing and 6 TDs and Tavon with 123 yards receiving and 4 TDs. They were the stars of the show.

All in all, nine bowl records were set or tied in the game:

  • 10 Team Touchdowns (WVU)
  • 69 Combined points in a half (WVU & Clemson- 1st half)
  • 70 Total Points, Team (WVU)
  • 35 Points in a quarter (WVU, 2nd quarter)
  • 49 points in a half (WVU, 1st half)
  • 6 passing touchdowns (Geno Smith, tied Chuck Long)
  • 7 total touchdowns (Geno Smith)
  • 42 total points (Geno Smith)
  • 4 receiving touchdowns (Tavon Austin, tied 3 others)

This is definitely one of the best victories in the history of our program. We got our first true taste of what the Mountaineer offense could do under Holgorsen, and we left the Big East in style. What a way to kick off 2012!