Orange bowled over

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - Two words were all Kevin Steele needed to describe the 70-33 Orange Bowl loss to West Virginia.

"Ass kicked."

It was indeed just that.

West Virginia set a bowl record for most points scored by a single team.

Geno Smith threw for an Orange Bowl record 401 yards and six touchdowns.

The Mountaineers' 49-point first half was a single-half bowl record. The 35-point second quarter set a record for most points by a single team in bowl history.

The 70 points allowed was the second-highest in Clemson history.

"In a nutshell, that was about as ugly as it gets," Steele said. "We didn't execute very well, didn't tackle very well."

Tavon Austin caught 11 passes for 117 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 46 yards. Stedman Bailey caught five passes for 82 yards and a score.

"[Austin] and [Bailey] are fast guys. They play well in space. We didn't match them very well," Steele said. "It just got off track and guys started pressing and got out of position. Just didn't execute very well and that's on me."

With over a month to prepare, the Tigers' third-year coordinator believed the right plan was in place. But for all that preparation, there was one element that did not show up on the practice field.

"We had no way of simulating the speed of some of the things that we saw out of [Austin] and [Bailey]," Steele said.

He added, "They did a great job in space after the catch, making people miss them."

West Virginia racked up 591 yards, had 31 first-downs and converted on 10 of 16 third-down opportunities.

Not a pretty sight for Clemson fans, who were watching their school play in its first-ever BCS bowl game.

Fault for the lackluster performance by the Tigers' defensive was claimed by its coordinator.

"You've got to do a better job and it's my responsibility," Steele said. "I take responsibility for it." Top Stories