Records broken in wild Orange Bowl

630516.jpg

Records broken in wild Orange Bowl

From Comcast SportsNet
MIAMI (AP) -- The West Virginia Mountaineers were tough to slow down, and only the Orange Bowl mascot could stop Darwin Cook. Geno Smith tied the record for any bowl game with six touchdown passes, and the No. 23-ranked Mountaineers set a bowl scoring record Wednesday night with their high-powered offense. But safety Cook made the pivotal play by returning a fumble 99 yards for a touchdown to break the game open and help rout No. 14 Clemson 70-33. Cook collided comically with mascot Obie after scoring one of the Mountaineers' five TDs in the second quarter, including three in the final 2:29 for a 49-20 lead. It was the highest-scoring half by a team in a bowl game. "I always envisioned making great plays," Cook said. "If you think it will happen, it will happen." Tavon Austin tied a record for any bowl game with four touchdown catches. Smith went 31 for 42, and had 401 yards passing to break Tom Brady's Orange Bowl record. Smith also ran for a score, helping West Virginia break the bowl record for points established six nights earlier when Baylor beat Washington 67-56 in the Alamo Bowl. "Never could we imagine we'd put up 70 points," Smith said. The Mountaineers (10-3) won in their first Orange Bowl appearance and improved to 3-0 in Bowl Championship Series games. "The guys wanted to come in and make a statement, and the only way you can do that is if you play well on all three sides of the ball," coach Dana Holgorsen said. Clemson (10-4) lost playing in its first major bowl in 30 years. "We're a better team than we played tonight," coach Dabo Swinney said. "Just too many mistakes. But we'll be back." The offensive showcase was the latest in a succession this bowl season, and perhaps the last. Defense is expected to dominate in the final BCS game Monday night when Louisiana State faces Alabama for the national title. Tacklers had their hands full -- or rather, they didn't -- on a chilly night in Miami. Smith and Austin combined on scoring passes of 8, 27, 3 and 37 yards, and Shawne Alston scored on two short runs for West Virginia, which totaled 589 yards and 31 first downs. Smith was chosen the game's outstanding player. Even when Clemson managed to corral the Mountaineers, the play wasn't always over. Andrew Buie rolled over a defender but was never downed, so he got up and ran for an additional 18 yards. Clemson couldn't keep up with the Big East Conference co-champions, although Andre Ellington did score the game's first points on a 68-yard run. First-team All-Americans Sammy Watkins and Dwayne Allen combined for only seven catches for 87 yards. "We kind of got down when they scored so many points in such a short amount of time," Watkins said. Amid the flurry of points, it was a defender who came up with second-longest scoring play in Orange Bowl history. Clemson was on the verge of taking the lead in the second quarter when Ellington ran up the middle and disappeared into a heap at the 1. A teammate signaled touchdown, but the ball came loose and Cook grabbed it, then took off with nothing but the end zone in front of him. "I saw the ball come loose," he said. "I grabbed it. I didn't hear a whistle, so I ran." After Cook crossed the goal line, he gleefully leaped on mascot Obie, a smiling orange, and they both tumbled to the turf. Obie rose unhurt and resumed her duties. Cook and Obie met on the field after the game and shared a hug. "I didn't know you were a girl," he told the mascot. "I apologize." Smith, standing in the sideline, watched a video replay of Cook's touchdown in disbelief. "Crazy, man," Smith said. "When I saw that, I knew things were breaking our way." The potential 14-point swing seemed to deflect the Tigers, who had moved the ball almost at will to that point. "It was a pretty big moment," Swinney said. "They hadn't really stopped us. That was huge. Then it snowballed quickly." The Tigers were doomed when quarterback Tajh Boyd committed subsequent turnovers on consecutive Clemson plays. After Smith ran 7 yards on a keeper for a 35-20 lead, Pat Miller intercepted Boyd's pass. Smith flipped a 1-yard touchdown pass to Austin and, on the next play, a call was overturned, with the replay official determining Boyd had lost a fumble. Alston then ran for a 1-yard touchdown with 4 seconds left in the half. "Momentum swung not in our favor, and it was hard to recapture," Boyd said. "West Virginia is a great offense. You can't really get behind them. We couldn't stop them. Guys were gassed. Their legs were going. It was a tough loss -- pretty embarrassing." Defensive woes were nothing new for the Tigers, who won their first Atlantic Coast Conference title in 20 years but gave up at least 30 points in six regular-season games. Clemson kept pace for a while, leading 17-14 after one period. It was the highest-scoring first quarter and first half in Orange Bowl history. West Virginia went ahead for the first time early in the second period on an 80-yard touchdown drive capped by Austin's 27-yard catch, making the score 21-17. Cook's takeaway touchdown came next, and the Mountaineers were off to the races. "You don't score 70 points by being good on offense," Holgorsen said. "You score 70 points by being good on all three sides of the ball."

Badgers linebacker Vince Biegel to reportedly miss big game vs. Michigan

vince-biegel-0930.png

Badgers linebacker Vince Biegel to reportedly miss big game vs. Michigan

Wisconsin will reportedly be without one of its top defensive players for Saturday's big showdown with Michigan.

According to ESPN's Jesse Temple, Biegel will miss this weekend's game — and several more — after surgery to put a screw into his foot. This according to Biegel's father, Rocky.

Biegel's father said that his son is expected to miss two to four weeks, though the surgery was done now to avoid a full break in his foot that would sideline him for a longer period of time.

The loss of Biegel adds more bad injury news for a Wisconsin team not exactly playing at full strength.

Just Thursday, the Badgers announced that kicker Rafael Gaglianone will miss the remainder of the season with a back injury. Another starting linebacker, Chris Orr, suffered a season-ending injury in the team's season-opening game. And Wisconsin has been dealing with injury issues at the running back position throughout the season's first few weeks, with Corey Clement sitting out against Georgia State and both Bradrick Shaw and Taiwan Deal not playing against Michigan State.

Losing Biegel, though, is an especially tough blow. A leader of the defense, the senior has racked up 156 tackles in 46 career games with 35.5 tackles for loss, 18.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. This season, he's made nine tackles with two tackles for loss and a sack in four games.

The Wisconsin defense has been one of the nation's best, currently ranking seventh in the country in scoring defense (11.8 points per game) and 12th in total defense (277 yards per game).

After wins over top-10 LSU and Michigan State teams in the season's first four weeks, the eighth-ranked Badgers take on the fourth-ranked Wolverines on Saturday in Ann Arbor.

Morning Update: Cubs play to 1-1 tie, White Sox win streak snapped

Morning Update: Cubs play to 1-1 tie, White Sox win streak snapped

Preview: Cubs open final series of year against Reds on CSN

Preview: Carlos Rodon, White Sox open final series of season vs. Twins on CSN+ 

Playing mind games, Joe Maddon fires back at Cubs players

White Sox five-game winning streak snapped with loss to Rays

Denzel Valentine a candidate for minutes at the point for Bulls

Bears: Jay Cutler goes from 'limited' in practice to 'DNP' on Thursday

What’s next for Cubs and Jason Hammel?

Erik Gustafsson knows landing roster spot with Blackhawks won’t be easy

Bears in dire need of RB Jordan Howard delivering latest rookie first-start impact

Cubs wear NFL jerseys for themed road trip