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Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Clemson Tigers Orange Bowl Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/3/14

Clemson Tigers (10-2) at Ohio State Buckeyes (12-1)

College Football: Friday, January 3, 2014 at 8:30 pm (Sun Life Stadium)

The Line: Ohio State Buckeyes -3 -- Over/Under: 69 See the Latest Odds


The Clemson Tigers play the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Orange Bowl on Friday night.

Clemson finished 10-2 overall and 7-1 in the ACC during the regular season. QB Tajh Boyd failed to throw a touchdown pass for only the second time this season in the 31-17 loss to South Carolina, but the senior finished with 3,473 yards, 29 scoring passes and a completion percentage of 67.6. WR Sammy Watkins, projected to be the top receiver selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, hauled in 10 touchdown passes and had seven 100-yard games on the way to his second 1,200-yard season. The Clemson aerial assault averages 329.3 yards per game, which ranks 12th in the country. The Tigers offense will face an Ohio State defense that ranked 11th in the Big Ten against the pass and over 300 yards to five opponents in the Big Ten conference, which isn’t known for quarterback play. Clemson's defense ranked 49th nationally against the run, giving up 152.6 yards per game, which could be a major problem against Ohio State on Friday.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Clemson Tigers Orange Bowl Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/3/14

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State finished the regular season with a 12-1 overall record and 8-0 in Big Ten competition. The 7th-ranked Buckeyes saw their BCS title hopes evaporate with a loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship game. QB Braxton Miller is a dual threat quarterback who rushed for 1,033 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. Miller is joined in the backfield by Carlos Hyde, giving Ohio State the nation's third-best rushing offense, averaging 317.5 yards per game. The 240-pound Hyde sat out the first three games while serving a suspension but still wound up with 1,408 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns while averaging 7.7 yards a pop. Miller had 22 touchdown passes against only 5 interceptions but a concern for the Buckeyes was a final four-game stretch in which he failed to complete 45 percent of his passes on three occasions, including an 8-for-21 effort for 101 yards against Michigan State.

Both squads average more than 40 points and are led by elite quarterbacks in Ohio State's Braxton Miller and Clemson's Tajh Boyd. Meanwhile, Clemson has struggled to stop the run this year, while Ohio State’s secondary has had trouble in coverage this season. I don’t have a strong enough lean on who is going to win this game but I know this will be a high scoring game. I’m going to take the over in a game that may reach the 90’s.

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Over 69 (highly rated)

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