#3 Clemson vs # 2 Ohio State
December 28, 8:00 PM
State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Az
For the second time in the last four seasons, Clemson and Ohio State will square off in the Fiesta Bowl as part of the semifinal round of the College Football Playoff. In 2016, the two met in the same game in the semifinal round and Clemson shut the Buckeyes out 31-0, handing Urban Meyer one of the worst losses of his career.
On paper these two teams look very evenly matched. So much so, it’s almost eerie. As we all know, games aren’t played on paper but it’s all we have until the 28th. The offenses and defenses of both teams are as good as any in the country. Both have had great QB play, both have elite RB’s, and both have really good wideouts. On the defensive side, both have been stout. A brief comparison shows just how closely the two teams resemble each other from a numbers standpoint.
A more in depth look at each teams season statistics.
One stat that does stand out when comparing the two teams is the number of sacks the Ohio State offensive line has given up on the season. They have given up 31 in 13 games, or 2.38 per game. That ranks them 95th in the nation when it comes to sacks allowed. This isn’t the dominant front four that gets after the QB like we’ve seen from Clemson in recent years, but Brent Venables has been quick to dial up the blitzes to generate pressure, and he brings it from all over the field. That could spell trouble for the Buckeyes and QB Justin Fields, who is quick to bolt the pocket as soon as he feels the pressure.