Both teams move the ball up and down the field and combine to average 900 yards per game - WVU 460 and Clemson 440. They combine to average over 600 yards passing and almost 70 points.
And the defenses can be torched at almost any time. West Virginia has given up 30 or more points five times this season and Clemson six.
Then again, just when one might expect an offensive explosion ...
"I think you've got two very capable offenses,'' said Clemson coach Dabo Swinney. "But just when you expect one thing, usually the other happens. ... I'd be surprised if there's not some points scored in this one. I don't think it'll be a 6-3 ball game like maybe some of the other games around. This should be an exciting game for the fans.''
That Clemson is West Virginia's opponent is not a surprise because the Tigers won the ACC title and that league's champion automatically goes to the Orange Bowl. That the Tigers won the league title, though, did come a bit out of nowhere.
After an 8-0 start that had the Tigers briefly in the national championship discussion, they lost three of four to nearly fall out of the Top 25 all together. In fact, Clemson lost badly to all three teams - 31-17 to Georgia Tech, 37-13 to North Carolina State and 34-13 to South Carolina. All three losses were on the road, and the only win in that stretch was a narrow victory over Wake Forest.
But Saturday night the Tigers bounced back strong, beating Virginia Tech for the second time this season (the first was 23-3, making Clemson 61-13 better than the Hokies, who nonetheless were invited to the Sugar Bowl to play Michigan). The game was tied 10-10 at halftime and Clemson dominated the second half behind quarterback Tajh Boyd, a former WVU verbal commitment.
In fact, that Boyd reneged on his verbal commitment to Bill Stewart's coaching staff is one of the reasons the Mountaineers now have Geno Smith at quarterback. Smith committed and signed with WVU only after Boyd was out of the equation.
This will be West Virginia's first appearance in the Orange Bowl and Clemson's fourth. The last time the Tigers were in the game was following the 1981 season, when they won the national championship.
It is the second-ever game between the teams. The other was Clemson's 27-7 win in the Gator Bowl at the end of the 1989 season. That was the last game at WVU for quarterback Major Harris.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.