The West Virginia Mountaineers started out the 2012 Orange Bowl off on the right foot, forcing the Clemson Tigers to a three and out on their first possession. The 'Eers wound up punting on their first drive as well however, despite moving the ball across midfield. The Mountaineers second venture on defense wasn't quite as successful as the first, as Clemson running back Andre Ellington broke through to the second level and beat the safety to the angle, going 68-yards for the first touchdown of the game.
After the score, West Virginia was able to get a drive going once quarterback Geno Smith connected with 33-yard catch and run by Devon Brown, getting the 'Eers in Clemson territory. A few plays later, running back Tavon Austin had a nifty play where the Clemson defense thought he was down, but he wasn't. Austin was slung down, but actually rolled over the defender never touching the ground.
A few plays later, running back Shawne Alston was able to tie the game at seven all by getting the ball in the endzone.
Not the be ignored, the Clemson offense marched right down the field on the West Virginia defense, with quarterback Tajh Boyd connecting with star freshman wide receiver Sammy Watkins for the touchdown and the 14-7 lead.
That, of course, was not all of the scoring in the first quarter, as on West Virginia's next possession they marched right down the football field thanks to another long pass by Geno Smith, this time to Willie Milhouse for 34 yards. The 'Eers capped off the drive with a Tavon Austin touchdown run the tie the game up at 14.
Clemson took the ball right down the field, but after a couple of incomplete passes had to settle for a field goal to take the 17-14 lead into the second quarter.
We'll have coverage of the Orange Bowl up to and through the big game in this StoryStream. For more on the two teams, check out Tigers blog Shakin' The Southland and Mountaineers blog The Smoking Musket.