MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- No Orange Bowl - and there have been 79 of them - ever began quite like this.
No bowl game, period - and the first Rose Bowl was played 110 years ago - ever started like this.
No team - until West Virginia in its first Orange appearance - ever played a first half like this ... in any bowl in major college football history.
That, folks, is 1,133 bowls to date.
A 49-20 West Virginia halftime lead en route to a 70-33 romp over the Tigers (10-4) was as historic as it was stunning ... and for a team that all season had struggled oh-so mightily early in games.
Before a crowd of 67,563, West Virginia and Clemson quickly brought new meaning to hurry-up offense at Sun Life Stadium on an offensive Wednesday night.
The Mountaineers and Tigers didn't necessarily force tempo consistently. They just hurried to score ... 1:39, 2:39, 2:16, 1:49, 2:04, 2:20, 1:36, 2:20, 0:52, 0:58.
Those were just the first-half scoring drives. The first five produced a record 31 points, breaking an Orange Bowl first-quarter mark that had lasted since World War II, when Georgia and Frankie Sinkwich led TCU 19-7 after the first period in a Bulldogs' win in 1942.
And the Big East and ACC champions were just getting started ... and the former was really just getting started.
WVU rolled behind the Most Outstanding Player performance of quarterback Geno Smith - six touchdown passes, an Orange Bowl record-breaking night less than a mile from his home.
Add Tavon Austin's record-matching four touchdowns and this one was nothing like the BCS-preceding Rose, Fiesta and Sugar bowls, games that were as close as the vote in the Iowa Republican caucuses, ones that went down to the last seconds of regulation, and beyond.
By halftime, the Mountaineers (10-3) weren't breaking Orange records. They were obliterating Rose, Holiday, Fiesta, Cotton, Liberty, Insight, Pizza, Beef, Music City, Bluebonnet, Aloha, Sun, Sugar standards ... you name it.
Smith topped the Orange five-touchdown passes mark set by USC's Matt Leinart in the national title game win over Oklahoma here seven years ago, and his 401 air yards wiped out Tom Brady's record of 369 for Michigan in 2000 against Alabama.
Those six TD throws by Smith - he also ran for a score - tied the record for any bowl, previously owned by Chuck Long of Iowa against Texas in the 1984 Freedom Bowl.
Smith's 427 yards total offense - he ran for 26 on scrambles - also toppled a 70-year-old Orange mark by Georgia's Sinkwich (355, on 112 rush, 243 pass).
One more. Smith tied the all-bowls record for points-responsibility, 42, set last week by Washington quarterback Keith Price in that high-scoring loss to Baylor in the Alamo Bowl.
And on a night when Austin nailed down the nation's all-purpose yards title for the 2011 season, he tied the four-touchdown record for any game in the BCS' 14-year history.