Ohio State football beat Clemson 49-28 en route to a national title appearance. After a dominating performance by the Buckeyes, what did we learn?
Just 369 days ago, Clemson and Ohio State met in the Cotton Bowl to decide who gets the right to play against a seemingly unstoppable SEC offense. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
The first quarter was very exciting as both teams ended the quarter tied at 14 apiece. After that it was all Buckeyes. Ohio State went three-and-out on their first drive of the game. They would then go on to score five consecutive touchdowns en route to a dominating half time lead in which the Tigers could not rebound from.
Clemson was never able to find a groove offensively. The Tigers had four three-and-outs and were plagued with miscommunication issues all night long. The lack of running game was very apparent as lead rusher Travis Etienne picked up just 32 yards on 10 carries.
The story of this game was the Ohio State offense and the beat down they put on Clemson. Justin Fields had the game of his career, and even a devastating shot by James Skalski could not slow him down.
Fields was tough, composed, and deadly accurate in New Orleans. Credit should be given to the Buckeyes’ offensive line as well, who kept the pocket clean for Fields to throw those bombs.
Trey Sermon was also a major factor for this Buckeyes offense, coming off a 330-yard performance against Northwestern. Sermon finished this game with 260 total yards and tacked on a touchdown.
Chris Olave returned after missing the Big Ten Championship Game and you could see how much he was missed. Olave reeled in 6 catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns and continues to be Fields’ favorite target.
Most of the Semi-Final games in year’s past have been blowouts, but Ohio State dominating Clemson in this fashion was a very unexpected result. Not bad for the 11th best team in the country.
With the National Championship looming, what did we learn from this game?