Clemson vs. Oklahoma: Orange Bowl Live Stream, TV Info, Game Notes

Clemson vs. Oklahoma: The No. 1 Clemson Tigers will take on the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners in Miami on Dec. 31, with the winner of the Orange Bowl earning a spot in the College Football Playoff championship game. The Tigers (13-0, 8-0 ACC) are looking for their fourth straight bowl will in their 38th postseason appearance overall. Clemson is the lone undefeated team in college football and is riding a 16-game winning streak dating back to last year. Last time out, the Tigers downed the North Carolina Tar Heels, 45-37, in the ACC title game. Clemson took a 21-16 lead right before halftime and had control up until the very end when a questionable call on a North Carolina onside kick went the Tigers’ way and sealed the vicotory. Deshaun Watson led the Tigers with 420 of the team’s title game record 608 total yards of offense and accounted for five touchdowns.

Clemson vs Oklahoma

It was the ninth consecutive game that Clemson had topped the 500-yard mark in total offense. Wayne Gallman complemented Watson in the backfield with 255 total yards and two touchdowns. Artavis Scott led the Tigers receving crops with seven catches for 96 yards and a touchdown. Clemson has appeared in a bowl game in 11 straight years and eight straight under Dabo Swinney. The Sooners (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) are in the postseason for the 17th straight season, all under head coach Bob Stoops. Oklahoma is riding a seven-game winning streak, including its 58-23 blowout of Oklahoma State in the Bedlam Series. The Sooners took back the lead late in the first quarter on Semaje Perine’s 68-yard touchdown run to make it 14-10 and Oklahoma wouldn’t stop there as it outscored Oklahoma State 44-13 in the final three quarters. Baker Mayfield played perfect football, accounting for 257 total yards and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, Perine and Joe Mixon combined to steamroll the Cowboys’ front seven. The Sooners dynamic duo ran for 267 yards and recorded two touchdowns each to propel the Oklahoma offense. Oklahoma is making its 19th Orange Bowl appearance, more than any other school (Nebraska is next with 17). OU’s 12 Orange Bowl wins are also more than any other program (Nebraska ranks second with eight victories). The 2015 Orange Bowl will mark the fifth meeting between Clemson and Oklahoma. The series is currently tied at two apiece as the Tigers won the last year’s matchup 40-6 in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Below is everything you need to know about the matchup, including the Orange Bowl live stream, TV broadcast information, game notes and prediction.

Orange Bowl Live Stream, TV Broadcast Information

Venue: Sun Life Stadium
Date: Thursday, December 31
Kickoff Time: 4:00 p.m. ET
National TV: ESPN
Orange Bowl Live Stream Here: Watch ESPN, No Radio Stream Available

Prediction

It’ll take a little bit to get rolling, and both defenses will come up with big moments with the pass rush, but the quarterbacks will each get red hot in a second half full of unstoppable drives and big plays. Oklahoma’s running game will be a little bit stronger to get control as the game goes on, and the Sooner D will do its part with a few key interceptions deep in its own territory. It’ll be a thriller – both teams will end up looking terrific, even with Clemson suffering a painful loss.

For the final score prediction, check out our Orange Bowl preview.

Game Notes

The Sooners are 5-0 against AP-ranked opponents this year. OU has more wins without a loss against AP-ranked foes than any team in the country.
Clemson is looking to become the eighth team in FBS history to win 14 games in a season.
This marks Oklahoma’s 49th bowl appearance. OU’s .594 bowl winning percentage (28-19-1) is fourth best among the 15 teams with at least 40 bowl appearances.
MORE: 10 Best College Football Bowl Matchups

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Clemson vs Oklahoma: Orange Bowl Preview

Clemson vs Oklahoma: The Orange Bowl should be the more aesthetically pleasing of the two College Football Playoff semifinals, as Clemson (38.5 points per game) and Oklahoma (45.8) bring two of the country’s top 20 scoring offenses. Quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Deshaun Watson are two of the country’s most dynamic, as both can gash defenses throwing and running the ball. Expect the game to be fun showcase for wide-open modern football, but winning it will ultimately come down to which team can make a few stops.

Clemson vs Oklahoma

1. The battle at the line of scrimmage

Clemson basically had to overhaul its entire offensive line heading into the season. ACC opponents who played the Tigers this year pointed out that Clemson’s line is considered mediocre and ranked somewhere in the middle to bottom half of the league. But the Tigers’ quick-hit passing game and quarterback run game have been able to compensate for the weaknesses up front. Bowl Picks: Staff predictions for each game, the College Football Playoff
by SI Staff One of the big keys will be whether Oklahoma’s defense can exploit the Tigers’ front. The Sooners have a menacing outside linebacker in Eric Striker (16 tackles for loss) and active bodies up front in end Charles Tapper and tackles Charles Walker and Matt Dimon. To slow down Clemson, the Sooners need to flummox Watson with pressure and contain the quarterback run game. The best chance to do that is to overwhelm the Tigers’ offensive line.

2. Oklahoma’s offense faces its toughest task

Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield has emerged as one of the best stories in college football this season. He’s a swashbuckling, trash-talking overachiever whose arc from little-known walk-on to Heisman candidate was as swift as it was remarkable. Arguably Mayfield’s defining moment came leading Oklahoma to a comeback double-overtime victory at Tennessee. The Sooners trailed in that game 17–0 and needed 14 fourth-quarter points to tie the game. One thing lost in that game’s magic is how Oklahoma’s offense struggled—at least for three quarters—against the best defense the Sooners would face all season. Tennessee’s strong defensive front limited battering ram tailback Samaje Perine to 3.4 yards per carry and held Oklahoma’s offense without a touchdown until the fourth quarter. Clemson enters the game with a front seven considered among the best in the ACC. The Tigers are difficult group to move off the ball and develop traction against in the run game. An early key will be how effectively the Sooners can establish their ground game, as they’ll need to be balanced to beat Clemson.

3) How much of a factor is last season’s meeting?

Last year, Clemson blew Oklahoma off the field 40–6 in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Both sides have dismissed that game because of Oklahoma’s coaching turnover (eight of nine different position coaches), a vastly improved secondary and the addition of Mayfield. But it’s also worth considering that Watson didn’t play that day, as Clemson ragdolled Oklahoma with a backup quarterback Cole Stoudt.

Was Clemson 34 points better than Oklahoma last year? Probably not. But it would be naïve to summarily dismiss that game, especially considering that Clemson’s defense has reloaded to be nearly as formidable as the top-ranked unit that shut down the Sooners last year. Oklahoma may be decisively better than its 2014 version, but Clemson has improved in some areas as well.

Burning Question: How big of an impact will former Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables have?

Venables was recruited to Kansas State by Bob Stoops as a player, coached for him there and later served as his defensive coordinator at Oklahoma from 1999 to 2012. While the Sooners have certainly adjusted schemes under new offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley, no one knows how Stoops manages a game better than Venables, Clemson’s defensive coordinator for the past four seasons. Could this be an edge for the Tigers? It certainly appeared to be last year.Oklahoma, Clemson will be hard-pressed to stop opposing quarterback
ESPN anchor Rece Davis explains why Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield should have great games as they square off in the College Football Playoff.

X-factor: Clemson tight end Jordan Leggett

In the spread-happy Big 12, the Sooners don’t face a lot of top-flight tight ends. How they stop Leggett will be a key, as the junior has 34 receptions for 442 yards this season and is considered one of the best at his position in the country.

Statistically speaking

22.5: Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson led the country in tackles for loss with 22.5 this season. How well the Sooners can contain him will be a key to getting their offense in rhythm and avoiding third-and-long situations.

Final analysis

There’s some overriding skepticism around just how good the Big 12 really was this season, as the conference had few marquee victories outside its intraleague showdown games. Oklahoma feasted in its final month on backup quarterbacks, as TCU, Baylor and Oklahoma State all played without their starters. Oklahoma’s revived defense hasn’t faced a quarterback the caliber of Watson, who threw 30 touchdowns this season, ran for 11 more and is perhaps the game’s most dangerous player on the zone read.

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Clemson vs Oklahoma: NCAA Football Simulation

Clemson vs Oklahoma: Interestingly enough, after all this talk about NCAA Football making a return, a simulation of Clemson vs Oklahoma has been released. Check it out here.

We have been having the discussion about an NCAA Football return and while this is not off a new game, Scott Cole (host of the Scott Cole Show) has released a simulation of the Clemson vs Oklahoma match-up in the Orange Bowl with all the players customized into the current rosters.

Clemson vs Oklahoma

Personally, I love to watch video game simulations because I find them intriguing although the game rarely plays out on the field the same way it does on the console. Take a look at the Clemson vs Oklahoma video game match-up. (Ignore the rankings of both teams–this game already has pre-ranked teams from a few years ago and it’s something you cannot change in exhibition mode)

Cole’s simulation has the Tigers winning and, interestingly enough, the game could play out this way. It has the two teams exchanging blows in the first quarter before Clemson goes up 14-7 and, eventually, the Tigers take a 21-7 lead at the early part of the second quarter before taking a 27-14 lead into halftime.

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Unfortunately, what happens next has happened a good bit over this year’s Clemson football season. Just when the Tigers get out to a comfortable lead and you think you can relax, they allow an opponent to come back.

With just 6 minutes left in the virtual game, Oklahoma cuts the lead to 27-21 with a touchdown. The Sooners get a stop and then score, taking a 28-27 lead with just 2:41 left in the third quarter and all of a sudden, the Tigers are trailing.

When things are looking bleak, Deshaun Watson leads the Tigers on a methodical drive that ends with a touchdown with 5:11 remaining. Clemson takes a 33-28 lead after the two-point conversion failed.

The Clemson defense comes up with a monumental stop and the offense is able to run the clock out. I can certainly see the game playing out that way, but it’s fun to watch and see no matter what happens December 31.

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Clemson Tigers vs Oklahoma Sooners 2015: Early Prediction, Betting Odds For College Football Playoff Semifinal

 

Clemson vs Oklahoma

Clemson vs OklahomaNo.1 Clemson and quarterback Deshaun Watson face a stiff challenge against No. 4 Oklahoma in the first CFP semifinal on Dec. 31. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Clemson Tigers vs Oklahoma Sooners: The No. 1 Clemson Tigers (13-0) are on the cusp of the second national title in the program’s history, but in order to repeat history for the first time in more than 30 years they’ll have to get past the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners (11-1) in the College Football Playoff semifinal on Thursday Dec. 31.

As the first matchup in the four-team playoff to decide this year’s champion, the Orange Bowl enters the rotation as one of the major bowls to host a semifinal after sitting out last season, acting as host for the rubber-match between the ACC champion and undefeated Tigers and the Big-12 titleholder Sooners.

The two sides have met only four total times, splitting the all-time series 2-2, with Clemson winning the last two games including last year’s Russell Athletic Bowl 40-6 to hand the Sooners just their third five-loss season under head coach Bob Stoops.

Despite that victory and the current streak, Clemson and ACC Coach of the Year Dabo Swinny are early 3.5-point underdogs to Oklahoma for the matchup at SunLife Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Yet the Tigers have defied the odds all season to not only maintain their first perfect season since 1981’s singular national title run, but also cast away some of the country’s top programs in the process. Clemson was the CFP selection committee’s first choice for No.1 when the rankings first came out and it has held the distinction ever since.

Behind quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist Deshaun Watson’s 30 touchdown passes and 11 rushing scores, Clemson upended then-No. 6 Notre Dame and No. 16 Florida State before scooting past No. 10 North Carolina in the ACC Championship.

With Watson at the helm of the offense and junior pass rusher Shaq Lawson manning the defense, the Tigers boasted the No. 15 attack in the country, netting 38.5 points per game, and the No. 18 defense with 20.2 points allowed per contest.

Lawson and redshirt junior end Kevin Dodd headline a devastating Clemson pass rush with a combined 17.5 of the unit’s 38.0 total sacks through 13 games. Their work has also helped leading defensive back Cordrea Tankersley and the secondary surrender a mere 166.9 passing yards and only 16 touchdowns this season.

But the Sooners can counter with the nation’s third-highest scoring offense (45.8 ppg) and quarterback Baker Mayfield, a junior who many felt should be joining Watson at the Heisman presentation ceremony Saturday.

Mayfield unleashed 35 passing touchdowns to only five interceptions, while completing 68.6 percent of his passed for 3,389 yards and gaining another 420 yards and seven scores to lead the Sooners to their first Big-12 title since 2012.

Mayfield’s joined by sophomore sensation and running back Samaje Perine, who was slowed by opposing defenses this season but still tallied 1,291 yards and 15 touchdowns for his second straight 1,000-plus yard season. And senior wide receiver Sterling Shepard ranked third in the Big-12 with 1,201 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The Sooners also have a talented pass rush and secondary to disrupt Watson just as much as Clemson has for Mayfield. Cornerbacks Zack Sanchez and Jordan Thomas pulled down 11 interceptions and defended 11 more for a secondary that ranked first in the Big-12 in passing yards allowed and in total defense.

Oklahoma also owned the best pass rush in the conference, tallying 38 total sacks with linebacker Eric Striker, defensive end Charles Tapper, and defensive tackle Charles Walker accounting for 20.5 sacks.

Betting Odds: Oklahoma -3.5

Over/Under: 65.5 points

Prediction: Oklahoma over Clemson, 35-30

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