Clemson’s defense is so thoroughly dominating Oklahoma’s offense, its almost as if its defensive coordinator spent the past 13 years practicing against the Sooners’ attack on a daily basis.
The 17th-ranked Tigers have had every answer for Oklahoma, leading the Russell Athletic Bowl 27-0 at the half.
Clemson quarterback Cole Stoudt hit his first pass for a 65-yard touchdown pass to Artavis Scott and didn’t let up from there, hitting 16-of-20 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns. Even when things are apparently going well for the Sooners, they’re going bad. Sooners defensive lineman Charles Tapper tipped and caught a Stoudt pass, returning it for an apparent 64-yard touchdown and pulling OU to within 20-7, but linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo was called offsides. Making matters worse, the penalty turned a 4th-and-4 into a first down for Clemson; the Tigers would later score on the drive on a 26-yard pass from Stoudt to Mike Williams.
But the real story has been Clemson’s defense. Trevor Knight has completed 5-of-14 passes for 27 yards with two interceptions. Samaje Perine has rushed 14 times for 62 yards, but ended Oklahoma’s one promising drive with a fumble.
First downs: 4 Penalties: 5 Jed Barnett Punts: 5 Trevor Knight completions: 5
— Eddie Radosevich (@Eddie_Rado) December 29, 2014
Oklahoma’s first 7 drives: 27 plays, 0-for-6 3rd downs, zero snaps in Clemson territory.
— Aaron Brenner (@Aaron_Brenner) December 29, 2014
The Sooners’ offense has actually been out-scored through one half, trailing the Tigers’ defense 7-0 thanks to Ben Boulware‘s 47-yard pick six to push the lead to 17-0 with 3:25 remaining in the first quarter.
Overall, Clemson is out-gaining Oklahoma 206-90.
Clemson will receive the ball to open the second half.