It wasn’t a very good day for Big 12 teams (0-3), with Oklahoma suffering the worst loss, going down 40-6 in the Citrus Bowl against Clemson, enjoying a fine final performance from Cole Stoudt while Trevor Knight proved once again he is not the quarterback the Sooners were looking for.
In every big game except for the Red River Rivalry vs Texas (which is one of the weaker Big 12 teams these days), Oklahoma folded. The postseason bowl game was no different, as the momentum pushing them from last year’s Sugar Bowl victory has disappeared very early in this season. Knight threw three interceptions, one of them returned for a touchdown, as Clemson scored 40 unanswered points before Oklahoma got on the scoreboard.
Stoudt was a backup for almost his entire career at Clemson behind Tajh Boyd, but this season shared the starting role with Freshman Deshaun Watson. He completed 26-of-36 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns, having it quite easy finding Artavis Scott (114 yards, one touchdown) and Mike Williams (112 yards, one touchdown) all game long, while the running game (68 yards, 42 carries) hardly managed to produce anything.
The Sooners got a big day from Samaje Perine as expected, but Knight completed just 17-of-37 throws as Oklahoma finished with just 275 yards on offense and doing almost nothing with their 27 minutes of possession. A big portion of the stadium was empty by the time the fourth quarter kicked off, and Dabo Swinney took off the starters to let others enjoy and have a taste of a demolition, winning a third consecutive bowl game against a perceived powerhouse.
For Swinney, this is the fourth consecutive season of 10 wins or more, and the year could have been different had they taken advantage of their chances in the overtime loss to Florida State. But a bowl game win and beating South Carolina for the first time in six years? They’re still a step behind the Seminoles in the ACC, but it’s hard not to feel good about how this season ended for them.