In the second semifinal game of the 2020-21 College Football Playoff, the No. 2 Clemson Tigers take on the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes. The last time these two met was in last year’s semifinal game in the Fiesta Bowl that was filled with great plays and controversy as the Tigers went on to win 29-23.
Ohio State feels that a fumble overturned to an incomplete pass ruined their chances competing in the national title game last year, and add the bulletin material that Dabo Swiney has been giving them, the Buckeyes are going to come out not only hungry and angry, in a game that is going to be chippy from start to finish. For Buckeye Nations’ sake, playing with a chip is fine but they need to stay level-headed and not make any mistakes that they’ll regret.
Clemson on the other hand has the best quarterback in the country in Trevor Lawrence, who is a guy who shows in big games and performs at an elite level when it matters to most. No matter who Clemson plays, it’s very hard to pick against a guy who has shown up and played at such a high level at the center stage of college football in all three seasons of his career.
So will Lawrence and the Tigers show up and perform as usual with the whole world watching? Or will the Buckeyes revenge-filled hearts take down Clemson and put them in the national title game?
Here’s how to watch and bet on the Sugar Bowl between Clemson and Ohio State
- Date: Friday, Jan. 1Start Time: 8:00 p.m. ETLocation: New Orleans, LouisianaStadium: Mercedes-Benz SuperdomeTV Info: ESPNOdds: Clemson -7.5, O/U 66.5Live Stream: WatchESPN
Ohio State secondary vs. Trevor Lawrence and Clemson’s aerial assault
The Buckeyes’ secondary has produced a lot of NFL talent over the course of the last several drafts. And while the recruitment of said talent is still there, the performance from their defensive backs has not been all that impressive this season. From injuries to COVID protocols, the Buckeyes have allowed some big plays and big yardage totals throughout the season. If they do not tighten it up, Lawrence is going to have a field day, having his way with this under-performing secondary.
Ohio State rushing attack vs Clemson front seven
The Tigers’ run defense is allowing just under 100 yards rushing per game, and allowing just 2.79 yards per rush attempt this season. They’ll be going up against a rushing attack that is averaging 275 yards a game and over six yards per rush attempt. Justin Fields has had some struggles this season but when the run game is going, so is he, so the Buckeyes did to establish this rushing attack early to open up both the RPO and the play action. Clemson cannot just say “Let Fields beat us with his arm” but if they cannot stop the run game, their offense is going to have to match Ohio State’s point-by-point.
Prediction: Again, this game is going to be chippy. Players will be in each other’s face, talking smack, and maybe adding a little extra to their hits. Ohio State is tired of hearing “only six games” and Clemson is tired of hearing that the Buckeyes were “one bad call away”, so something has got to give. Both quarterbacks will be on full display but the run game of Ohio State takes control of this matchup and sets the tone as the Buckeyes take a lead late in the fourth and hold on to finally beat the Tigers and head back to their first national title game appearance since the 2014-15 season.
Score: Ohio State 34, Clemson 31