"[Clemson's defensive front] is definitely up there," Madsen said. "They've got athletic guys on the outside to come off the edge. They're sprinters. They're kind of like [WVU's] Bruce Irvin. They're Bruces in their minds. We have to look out for that.
"Their base [defense] is not one with a lot of twists and stuff like that though. So that helps a lot."
What will also help a lot is if WVU can run the ball. Projected starting tailback Shawne Alston will help with tough yards, but the Mountaineers need to flash speed as well. Need chunks of real estate to help Smith's passing efforts. So keep an eye out for freshman Andrew Buie. He can be a wild card in this game.
Understand, though, that Clemson has had trouble with running quarterbacks. It's an Achilles heel. And the view from here is WVU's Geno Smith needs to poke that heel.
It's clear to all Mountaineer followers that Smith prefers not to run. He has had foot problems. And Holgorsen prefers Smith not to run. But this is a golden-Orange opportunity. It's time for Smith to run.
"Offensively, we need to counter," Holgorsen said. "We need to do a good job of taking care of the ball and getting the ball to Tavon [Austin] and getting the ball to Stedman [Bailey] and getting the ball to guys that need to step up."
Getting the ball to the aforementioned pair of receivers, though, won't be enough. We'll see what Holgorsen has up his sleeve. It's time for him to shine too.
On the flip side, WVU's defensive line needs solid play out of nose tackle Jorge Wright. The position is key to the 3-3-5 odd stack. Back in that 2006 game, Ernest Hunter was just enough. Later, Chris Neild was a standout. Now, with backup Josh Taylor out, Wright has to be strong. Very.
Also, WVU's linebackers must lift their level of play. Najee Goode has been, well, good. He'll need more help than ever, though, in this one.
Of course, on special teams, the Mountaineers have to at least push, which will be difficult.
On Tuesday, Holgorsen seemed relaxed and confident. He seemed happy with his team's preparation. More than happy, really.
"When we found out we were able to go to the Orange Bowl, the effort of our kids and the energy of our kids and the excitement level of our kids went through the roof," said the coach. "They were ready to do absolutely anything we put in front of them because of the magnitude of the game, because of the excitement of the game, being able to play a great opponent ...
"So they went to class, they were early to show up for workouts, they were on time and in our building more than they've ever been. So we got a tremendous amount of work in."
While hanging out on South Beach?
"It's been great," Holgorsen said. "We all had our concerns with it. It's a busy place, and there's a lot to do. I give our team a tremendous amount of credit."
Smith certainly sounds ready.
"It's a huge stage, but none of us are overwhelmed by it," said the quarterback. "We understand what's at stake. We believe it's just another game. We want to win the game."
And it can be done. The pick here is Clemson, but it can be done.
Which would lift Holgorsen's star, his recruiting efforts and again boost West Virginia's program.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.