MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - West Virginia's offense averages 34.9 points this season. Clemson's averages 33.6. The Mountaineers average 459.6 yards. The Tigers average 440.6. WVU's pass efficiency rating is 148.2. Clemson's is 142.3
For two teams with stats so similar entering tonight's Orange Bowl here at Sun Life Stadium (8 p.m., ESPN), they sure do things differently.
Begin with the breadth of the offenses. WVU Coach Dana Holgorsen installed his offense on the first three days of spring practice, when he was still the offensive coordinator. He takes maybe two dozen plays into a game. Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris is not even close to the same.
"We've got about 65 percent of our offense in," he said.
The 23rd-ranked Mountaineers (9-3) pass for about 60 more yards per game than Clemson.
The 14th-ranked Tigers (10-3) run for about 40 more yards than WVU. Clemson's run-pass split is about 130 yards from even. WVU's is about 230 yards from even.
The Mountaineers are unapologetically immersed in a pass offense. Morris calls his offense a two-back, run-oriented system.
"When we're putting points on the board, it's because we do a great job of mixing up our run-pass," Morris said. "The games that we have to be lopsided one way or the other is when we're not at our best."
There is no greater difference, though, than the tempo with which the teams play. Morris is in his first season with the Tigers and has played fast from start to finish.
"He demands it," said All-America tight end Dwayne Allen. "In practice, in the walkthrough, in everything we do, he demands it. We have to control the tempo to control the game. It was evident in the ACC championship game. We tired those guys out and took over in the second half."
Holgorsen is in his first season with WVU and realized weeks ago he needed to use less and less of the desired tempo.
"I think we've played fast at times, but the tempo isn't at a consistently high level like we want," quarterback Geno Smith said. "Due to a number of reasons, we've had to slow down to make sure everybody is settled."