#18 Clemson To Take on Oklahoma in 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl
The Clemson Tigers and Oklahoma Sooners have been selected to play in the 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl. This year’s edition, the silver anniversary of the game, will take place on December 29th at the Orlando Citrus Bowl stadium at 5:30 p.m., and will be televised by ESPN.
“Russell Athletic is thrilled with the matchup of Clemson and Oklahoma playing in our bowl game,“ said Robby Davis, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Russell Athletic. “The addition of the Big 12 to complement the ACC is tremendous for the Russell Athletic Bowl. We can’t wait to see these two teams, who represent the teamwork and attitude that Russell Athletic lives by, culminate their impressive seasons at the newly renovated Citrus Bowl. It should make for a fantastic night of college football for fans everywhere.”
Clemson (9-3, 6-2 ACC) makes its sixth appearance in Orlando; its last was a 2005 Champs Sports Bowl victory over Colorado. The Tigers finished second in the ACC Atlantic division behind undefeated Florida State. The Tigers earned nine wins for the fifth time in six years under Dabo Swinney.
Freshman phenom Deshaun Watson leads Clemson’s offense with an impressive 14-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio in five starts. Watson ran for two more to lead the Tigers to a 35-17 victory over South Carolina in their regular season finale. The Clemson defense has been tough to beat this season, ranking in the top 10 in the nation in total defense (1st), passing defense (3rd), rushing defense (7th) and scoring defense (7th).
Oklahoma (8-4, 5-4 Big 12) makes its second appearance in the Orlando Citrus Bowl stadium, having fallen to Clemson in Hall of Fame head coach Barry Switzer’s last game in the 1989 edition of the bowl. This is the 16th-straight bowl appearance for the Sooners who are 28-18-1 all-time in bowls.
An experienced offensive line allowed the offense to find success, scoring 30 points or more in all but one game this season. Freshman running back Samaje Perine is ranked fifth in the nation with 21 rushing touchdowns and 8th with 1,579 rushing yards including an FBS-record 427 rushing yards against Kansas (11/22).
“Our goal for the Russell Athletic Bowl when we switched to our current conference partnerships was to have a meeting between two schools like Clemson and Oklahoma,” said Hogan. “We feel like this will be one of the premier matchups of the postseason and we look forward to hosting the fans from these two tradition-rich schools.”
Clemson and Oklahoma meet in a rematch of the 1989 Florida Citrus Bowl, where the Tigers edged the Sooners, 13-6. Sophomore tailback Terry Allen tallied 100 all-purpose yards and the game’s only touchdown, earning MVP honors. The two teams have met two other times previously with the Sooners coming away with a victory in both.