MIAMI -- West Virginia blew open the Discover Orange Bowl against Clemson with a huge second quarter and leads 49-20 at halftime. Here is a quick first-half analysis.
Turning point: Easy. Clemson running back Andre Ellington was going in for the go-ahead touchdown from the 3-yard line when he fumbled in the middle of a huge scrum. West Virginia safety Darwin Cook picked up the ball and ran 99 yards for a touchdown to give the Mountaineers a 28-17 lead and send all the momentum the Tigers had to a screeching halt. That was the first drive of the game that the Tigers failed to score, and they managed only a field goal the rest of the way.
Stat of the half. 69. The teams set an Orange Bowl and BCS record for total points in a half. The previous record for the Orange Bowl: 48. West Virginia's 49 points in the first half were the most scored by any team in any bowl game ever.
Best player in the half: West Virginia all-everything man Tavon Austin. With three touchdown receptions and 158 total yards, Austin has been everywhere on the field. He has touches as a receiver, running back and kickoff returner, and has been incredibly hard for Clemson to tackle.
What Clemson needs to do: Ask for a do over. The Tigers had three turnovers that led to 21 West Virginia points in the second quarter. They actually ended the quarter with three turnovers on their final four possessions. The Ellington fumble was an absolute killer and essentially began their nightmarish second quarter.
What West Virginia needs to do: Continue to be aggressive. This defense has come to life in the past four games, and now has defensive scores in three of their past four games. This team is playing inspired football right now, and is absolutely dominating in every area. It is an understatement to say this is the team's best game of the year, on the biggest stage of the year.