College Football Playoff

(3) Ohio State Buckeyes at (2) Clemson Tigers

Ohio State: It’s been quite the year for them. First, we didn’t think there’d be a Big Ten season because of COVID-19, but we still got one. As you’d expect, there were a few cancellations and in order to play in the Big Ten conference title game, you need to have played in at least six games to be considered. As expected, the rule was lifted and the Ohio State Buckeyes were competing for yet another conference title. I was worried about them in the first half of that game because they looked out of sync. Also, you see how important Chris Olave is to this offense. He’s the best pure route runner we have in the country. I kept calling for Ryan Day to get the running game going because Justin Fields was struggling. He did it! Without Trey Sermon, they aren’t here. Tonight, it’s another battle with Clemson.

Clemson: After the loss to Notre Dame on November 7th, they buckled down and locked in. Trevor Lawrence came back and things have flowed for them. Their appearance in the ACC title game was a play in-game. They entered with one loss which is unusual for them because they’re usually undefeated around championship time. What a better time for the Clemson Tigers to put together their best performance of the season. The offense was extremely potent. The balance they display amazes me because Trevor can attack a defense with his arm or his legs, the receivers caught everything and the defense made life miserable for Ian Book as they handled business and won their sixth consecutive ACC title and are now locked into the two seed in the playoffs. It’s postseason time. They’re aiming for their third straight title game appearance tonight.

Ohio State X-Factor: Trey Sermon– The best formula against this Clemson offense is to keep them on the sideline. Control the clock and win the time of possession battle. Trey is also a veteran that has played in these playoff games dating back to his time with the Oklahoma Sooners. On the other hand, he will help this passing game open up for Fields and company.

Clemson X-Factor: Cornell Powell– This is a bully playing wide receiver. Cornell plays the position with the mindset of a running back because even with would-be tacklers all over him, he still fights to get extra yards. Also, this is another weapon Trevor to get the ball too, especially down the field. Cornell consistently takes the top off zone coverage.

Final Thoughts: They played in one of the best games I saw all last season. For the third time since 2016, they will meet again with another trip to the title game on the line. This could be the final meeting between Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. This Clemson defense will bring the heat early and often on Justin. Ohio State will play with a chip on their shoulder knowing how the game against Clemson went last year. Ohio State must do a better job of limiting Trevor’s mobility. This should be another memorable showdown.

Prediction: Clemson 35 Ohio State 30

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