December 31, 2016…..
How glorious it was. The game that left the Ohio State fan base shell-shocked and broken, while at the same time spring boarding Clemson to its first national title since 1981.
How many points did ohio state score? pic.twitter.com/HSalpsetEz
— Clemson Tom 🐅 (@ClemsonTom) January 1, 2017
Legendary Tiger QB Deshaun Watson had two touchdown runs and threw for another, but on this night it was the defense that stole the show. The Clemson defensive front was absolutely dominant, led by Carlos Watkins on the interior and Clelin Ferrell on the outside.
Clemson limited the Buckeyes to just 215 yards of offense and just 9 first downs on the night. Ohio State’s ground game was completely shut down, gaining just 88 yards, but 64 of those came on a garbage time run by Curtis Samuel. Outside of that, just 24 rushing yards.
In the lead up to the game, Tigers safety Jadar Johnson caught some flak for telling the media that they had faced much better passers than Ohio State QB JT Barrett. Turns out, Johnson nailed it. Barrett did complete 19-33 passes but for only 127 yards, and threw two picks, both inside the red zone.
It was the first time the Buckeyes had been shut out since 1993, a stretch of 295 games. It was the only time ever that an Urban Meyer coached team was shutout. Afterwards, Meyer would say,
“We’re going to move on quickly. Identify things that have to get better and we will. That’s what we do. Ohio State is not used to this. I’m not used to this, and we will not get used to this. That’s not going to happen again. So we’ll get things worked out.”
This game also gave us one of the best troll jobs seen to date. At halftime of their season opener the following season, the Tigers marching band gave us this gem.
As the two teams are set to face off once again tomorrow, it’s the perfect time to reminisce. Scratch that, it’s always a good time to reminisce about this one.