MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller stayed down on the ground and clutched his right shoulder, a grimace of pain visible through his face mask.
A jarring hit had just caused Miller to lose a fumble, one of four turnovers by the Buckeyes in the final 20 minutes of the Orange Bowl, and they all hurt. Clemson took advantage in a game with four lead changes and won 40-35 Friday night.
The Buckeyes' final turnover was the most costly. They took over at midfield with 1:27 to go trailing by five points, and on second down Miller threw his second interception to seal the defeat.
"We just didn't finish," coach Urban Meyer said. "It was right there to finish."
No. 7 Ohio State (12-2) lost its second game in a row after winning its first 24 under Meyer. No. 12 Clemson (11-2) achieved back-to-back 11-win seasons for the first time.
The Buckeyes totaled 27 first downs and 427 yards, and they had a six-minute edge in time of possession. They rallied from a 20-9 deficit against the high-powered Tigers and scored 20 consecutive points before the flurry of turnovers began when Corey Brown fumbled a punt return to set up a Clemson touchdown.
On the next series, Miller threw his first interception, and Clemson had to drive only 38 yards to score and lead 34-29.
The Buckeyes regained the lead when Miller led a 75-yard drive and capped it with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Carlos Hyde. Miller was shaken up when he was hit on the final play of the drive and came out of the game for the two-point conversion, which was unsuccessful.