Clemson Smashes Sooners In "Venab-Bowl"
ORLANDO, Florida - Most embarrassing loss in Oklahoma football history? That might be a stretch. Then again...
Oklahoma began the 2014 season with hopes expectations of reaching the inaugural College Football Playoff. The Sooners now end the season with a 40-6 annihilation in the Russell Athletic Bowl at the hands of former defensive coordinator Brent Venables and the Clemson Tigers.
It's hard to say which side of the ball was more disappointing for the Sooners. The offense was completely ineffective, but Clemson's No. 1 defense had plenty to do with that.
Trevor Knight looked lost in space. Knight completed just 5-of-14 for 27 yards and threw a pair of picks in the first half as the Sooners were straight bludgeoned by Clemson's top-ranked defense. He finished just 17-of-37 for 103 yards and three interceptions.
It was a far cry from last season's Sugar Bowl, when Knight completed 32-of-44 for 348 yards and four touchdowns against Alabama.
Defensively, it was even worse.
Clemson quarterback Cole Stoudt shredded the Sooners' secondary all night. Stoudt completed 16-of-20 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns in the first half alone. He finished with 319 yards and three scores.
Just to compare, Stoudt completed just 3-of-11 passes for 19 yards and three interceptions against Georgia Tech's questionable defense just a few weeks ago.
Artavis Scott and Mike Williams combined to take apart the OU defense. Scott hauled in eight balls for 114 yards while Williams grabbed seven for 112. Each guy found the end zone once.
Clemson led 10-0 early when Knight's pass was intercepted by Ben Boulware and returned 47 yards for a touchdown. After an Ammon Lapik field goal made it 20-0, OU looked like it was going to catch a break. Charles Tapper batted a pass into the air, caught it, and took off all the way to the end zone, but it was negated due to an offside penalty. Later that drive, Stoudt found Williams in the end zone and this one was over.
Oklahoma got on the board, finally, with 6:57 to play in the fourth on an Alex Ross 11-yard touchdown run. But in fitting fashion, Michael Hunnicutt's extra point was blocked.
Clemson (10-3) only beat one FBS team (NC State, 41-0) worse all season. Their schedule included games against Georgia State, Syracuse and Wake Forest.
The Tigers outgained OU 387-275 and won the turnover battle, 5-0. The Sooners were 2-12 on third down and committed eight penalties for 80 yards.
The Sooners' (8-5) 34-point loss matches the spread from their 48-14 loss to Baylor earlier this season. OU finishes the season 0-4 against ranked opponents. Clemson entered at No. 17.