On Friday, at the All-State Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, La, it will be Clemson vs Ohio State in a CFP semifinal game. It will be a college football playoff rematch of the 2019 game in which Clemson won 29-23. This will be Ohio State’s 4th appearance and Clemson’s 6th appearance in the CFP.
In the CFP era, Ohio State has won one national title and Clemson has won 2 titles in four national title game appearances.
Here is a breakdown of Clemson vs Ohio State
Ohio State (6-0)
Due to COVID-19, the Buckeyes only played six games, winning all six games. That’s half of what the other playoff teams have played.
Since 2012, they have a record of 105-10.
The Buckeyes fielded a Top Ten offense in 2020:
- #6 in FBS in Total Offense at 529 yards/game.
- #5 in FBS in Rushing Offense at 275 yards/game.
- #7 in FBS in Scoring Offense at 42 points/game.
- #6 in FBS in 3rd down conversions at 51%.
Ohio State is also good against the run, ranking #7 in FBS in rushing defense allowing 96 yards/game.
Players to Watch
Ohio State is led on the field by QB Justin Fields in his second year as the starter. His stats in 2020:
- 1521 passing yards
- 15 TDs
- 5 INTs
- 72.6% completion pct.
- 5 rushing TDs
RB Trey Sermon
- 675 yards
- 3 TDs
- 8 yards per rush
- ran for 331 yards and 2 TDs in the win over Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship Game.
WR Garrett Wilson
- 38 catches
- 621 yards
- 5 TDs
WR Chris Olave
- 36 catches
- 528 yards
- 5 TDs
Since 2011, Clemson has posted a record of 121-17. In 2020, the Tigers are averaging 44 points per game while allowing just 17 points scored against them. Clemson put a Top Ten offense of their own on the field in 2020:
- #10 in FBS Total Offense at 507 yards/game.
- #7 in FBS Passing Offense at 343 yards/game.
- The 44 points per game are good for #3 in the FBS.
And their defense, well they are equally as good:
- #6 in FBS in Total Defense, allowing 298 yards/game.
- #9 in FBS in Rushing Defense, allowing 99 yards/game.
- #11 in FBS in Scoring Defense, allowing just 17 points per game.
- #2 in the FBS in sacks with 44, averaging 4 per game.
- #2 in FBS in tackles for loss with 103, averaging 9 per game.
- Forced 13 INTs.
Players to Watch
QB Trevor Lawrence
- 2753 yards passing
- 22 TDs
- 4 INTs in 286 passing attempts.
- 69% completion pct.
- 7 rushing TDs
- 3 games of 300+ passing yards.
- 2 games of 400+ passing yards.
- 322 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT in 34-10 win over Notre Dame in ACC Championship Game.
- Missed two games due to COVID-19.
- Heisman Finalist
RB Travis Etienne
- 882 yards rushing
- 13 TDs
- 44 catches
- 524 yards
- 2 receiving TDs
WR Amari Rodgers
- 69 catches
- 966 yards
- 7 TDs
- 3 games of 100+ yards receiving
Clemson vs Ohio State: Who Will Win?
There are many who say that Ohio State doesn’t belong in the college football playoff. They only played 6 games. The Big Ten changed their own rules to “accommodate” the Buckeyes (like the number of games needed to qualify for the conference title game. First, it was eight, then they changed it to six games. And, the CFP Committee chose undefeated Ohio State regardless of how many games they played.
But Clemson is extremely talented on both sides of the ball. They move the ball efficiently on offense and are very stingy on defense. In the end, the Tigers are just too tough. Clemson wins.
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Material for this article sourced from cfbstats.com.