Two conference champions, No. 15 Clemson and No. 23 West Virginia, will meet in the 78th Discover Orange Bowl on Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m.
Both teams enter the Discover Orange Bowl among the hottest teams offensively in the country. Both Clemson and West Virginia rank in the top-15 nationally in passing offense and top-30 nationally in scoring offense and total offense.
Each team is led by a quarterback who ranks in the top-10 in passing yards (Tajh Boyd 9th, Geno Smith 7th).
Clemson (10-3, 6-2 ACC) earned the ACC’s automatic berth in the Discover Orange Bowl following its 38-10 victory over No. 5 Virginia Tech in the seventh annual Dr Pepper ACC Championship Game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. Boyd earned MVP honors as he went 20-for-29 with 240 passing yards and three touchdowns.
The Tigers will make their fourth appearance in the Discover Orange Bowl and their first in 30 years. Clemson earned the 1981 National Championship following its victory in the Orange Bowl. Clemson also played in the 1950 and 1956 seasons.
Clemson has 10 players on its roster from the state of Florida.
West Virginia (9-3, 5-2 Big East) is making its first appearance in the Discover Orange Bowl. The Mountaineers are one of only three teams in the country to win nine-plus games the past seven years (Virginia Tech and Boise State are the others).
West Virginia earned the Big East’s automatic BCS bid by virtue of a three way tie with Cincinnati and Louisville.
20 players on the Mountaineers’ roster hail from the state of Florida, including 11 from the South Florida region.
This is the second meeting all-time between the Tigers and Mountaineers. The two teams previously squared off in the 1989 Gator Bowl. Clemson earned a 27-7 victory over West Virginia.
The Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com project Clemson as the winner by a margin of less than a point (0.87).