The Buckeyes and also Tigers fulfill on Friday evening in New Orleans in the University Football Playoff semifinal at the Sugar Dish. This will certainly be the 5th time the institutions have actually encountered each various other, with Ohio State still searching for their very first gain the Tigers.


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Picture by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
After a period that saw Ohio State play simply 6 video games, the Buckeyes excited the University Football Playoff choice board sufficient to gain a 2nd straight journey to university football's Last 4. There's no doubt that when healthy and balanced the Buckeyes are among the 4 finest groups in the country, some simply really felt Ohio State had not been worthwhile of a place since the Buckeyes were just able to play 6 video games this year.

A recall

Last time Ohio State took the area was simply under 2 weeks back in the Big 10 National Championship. The Buckeyes were absent virtually 2 lots gamers heading right into the video game due to favorable COVID-19 examinations, call mapping, or injuries. Principal like pass receiver Chris Olave, linebacker Baron Browning, and also punter Drue Chrisman were all not available for the video game versus the Wildcats, however all are anticipated to be all set to go with the Sugar Dish.

As if those inactives weren't sufficient for Ryan Day to take care of, quarterback Justin Area experienced a sprained thumb versus Northwestern, and also Master Teague III left the video game with an injury. The loss of Teague implied Trey Lecture would certainly need to carry even more of the tons for the Buckeyes, as well as the Oklahoma transfer was greater than approximately the job. After hurrying for 271 lawns in the 2nd fifty percent, Preaching's 331 hurrying lawns damaged Eddie George's college document of 314 hurrying lawns, which George held up in 1995 versus Illinois. The 271 hurrying lawns in the 2nd fifty percent additionally overshadowed Ezekiel Elliott's institution document of 243 hurrying backyards in a fifty percent.

For the 2nd straight year, an unbeaten Ohio State group routed their challenger in the Big 10 National Championship. As well as similar to in 2014, the Buckeyes closed their challenger out in the 2nd fifty percent to safeguard their area in the University Football Playoff. Ohio State would certainly take place to defeat Northwestern 22-10, noting their 4th straight Large 10 National championship win, and also their 39th total Large 10 title.

Collection at a look

Currently the Buckeyes will certainly head to New Orleans to handle an acquainted adversary on New Year's Day. Ohio State will certainly conflict the Clemson Tigers, that beat the Buckeyes 29-23 in the Carnival Dish. Friday's conference will certainly be the 3rd time the colleges have actually fulfilled in the University Football Playoff, and also the 5th time total. Clemson has actually won all 4 of the previous conferences with Ohio State. The only various other groups to dip into the very least 4 video games versus Ohio State as well as hold a winning document are USC, Stanford, as well as Alabama.

Agonizing memory

Ohio State leapt bent on a 16-0 lead in the very first fifty percent of in 2014's University Football Playoff semifinal versus the Tigers prior to a questionable targeting get in touch with a Shaun Wade struck to Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence transformed the trend of the video game. After believing they had actually originally required the Tigers to punt, the charge not just provided Clemson an initially down, however additionally denied the Buckeyes of the solutions of Wade for the remainder of the video game. Clemson would certainly take place to top off the drive with a Travis Etienne goal, offering the Tigers their very first factors of the video game.

The various other telephone call by the authorities that was greatly inspected included Clemson holding a 21-16 lead with much less than 5 mins left in the 3rd quarter. It appeared Jeffrey Okudah had actually removed Clemson pass receiver Justyn Ross of the football, as well as safety and security Jordan Richer had actually grabbed the fumble and also returned it for the goal. The authorities really felt or else however, ruling the pass insufficient after testimonial.

When Justin Area discovered Chris Olave for a 23-yard goal, the Buckeyes would certainly go on to strike early in the 4th quarter to take the lead. Ohio State would certainly hold the lead for virtually 10 mins prior to Lawrence discovered Etienne for a 34-yard goal pass. The Buckeyes were able obtain the football to Clemson's 23-yard line with 40 secs to precede Ohio State saw their period end when Justin Area was chosen off for the 2nd time in the video game.

Area ending?

It prevails expertise that there isn't much time left in the Justin Area period at Ohio State. The concern is whether there will certainly be one video game left or more video games. For the 2nd straight period, Area was called both Large 10 Offensive Gamer of the Year as well as Large 10 Quarterback of the Year. Area has actually tossed for 15 goals this year, pressing his Ohio State total amount to 56 passing goals, linking him with Joe Germaine for third-most in college background. Another goal will certainly link Area with Bobby Hoying, yet J.T. Barrett's college document of 104 passing goals runs out grab the junior quarterback.

Take 'em to church

Ohio State certainly owes their newest Huge 10 title to Oklahoma transfer running back Trey Preaching, whose ventures versus the Wildcats were highlighted previously in the sneak peek. The Buckeyes had the ability to discover lots of success on the ground in 2015 versus the Tigers, with J.K. Dobbins rolling up 174 backyards and also a goal on Clemson. After his efficiency versus Northwestern, anticipate to see Lecture get a lot of the brings. Do not rest on Master Teague if he's healthy and balanced, though. Teague has something to show after hurrying for simply 9 backyards on 7 brings versus the Tigers in 2014.

Dynamic duo

Prior to Lecture's beast video game versus Northwestern, Garrett Wilson as well as Chris Olave had actually been the major resource of infraction for Ohio State this year. Wilson as well as Olave are both balancing over 100 lawns obtaining per video game, making them the only colleagues to typical three-way numbers this period. Wilson as well as Olave have each published 4 100-yard getting video games this year.

Redemption tune

Ohio State does not rather have the exact same pop when one component of the duo is missing out on, as shown by the Big 10 National Championship. Without Olave, the Buckeye passing assault had not been able to get any kind of grip. The jr pass receiver will certainly be getting ready to take place Friday, not just since he was required to miss out on the Large 10 National Championship, however likewise as a result of the method in 2014's Carnival Dish finished. With 3 even more functions, Olave will certainly get to 100 catches in his Ohio State profession.

Trench war

One of the most vital location Ohio State needs to win versus Clemson is the fight in the trenches. Clemson has actually produced mayhem for opposing offenses, signing up 44 sacks as well as 103 deals with for loss this year, both of which ranking 2nd across the country. The Buckeyes have among the very best offending lines in the nation, they'll simply require everybody healthy and balanced, which had not been the situation versus Michigan State and also Northwestern. Facility Josh Myers is a finalist for the Rimington Honor, while guard Wyatt Davis has actually been called a first-team All-American for the 2nd year straight.

Everyone consumes

Beyond of the football, Clemson needs to be soothed they will not need to handle Chase Youthful this year. That does not suggest the Tigers will not encounter some stress from the Buckeyes. Haskell Garrett was called a first-team All-American by CBS Sports as well as Pro Football Emphasis simply months after being fired in the face. Protective deal with Tommy Togiai leads the Buckeyes with 3 sacks this year, Jonathon Cooper has actually included 2.5 sacks, as well as Zach Harrison has 2 sacks on the period.

The Baron

Ohio State is mosting likely to require their elderly linebackers to tip up as well as steady the protection versus Clemson. The Buckeyes will certainly get an increase with the return of Baron Browning, that missed out on the Northwestern video game. While leading tacklers Pete Werner as well as Tuf Borland will certainly seek to maintain the activity before them, Browning has the rate as well as athleticism to reduce Travis Etienne. Browning can likewise maintain eyes on quarterback Trevor Lawrence, similar to Malik Harrison did in 2015.

Wade has actually been waiting

There's no doubt where the weak location on Ohio State's protection has actually been this year. The Buckeye additional has actually been shredded sometimes this year. Despite some unequal play, Shaun Wade was still called a first-team All-American this year. Wade has 2 interceptions on the period, consisting of a pick-six versus Indiana. Just like Olave, Wade recognizes he has incomplete service to care for after his time in 2015's video game was interrupted after the targeting contact his appeal Lawrence in the initial fifty percent.

Prepared to outbreak

The x-factor in the second for Ohio State is security Josh Proctor. The junior played among the very best video games of his Buckeye profession versus Northwestern, selecting off a pass as well as likewise going down an interception that likely would've caused a goal for Proctor. Ohio State has yet to locate the steadying pressure at security like they have actually had the last couple of years with Jordan Richer, yet there's no doubt that Proctor is boosting as he sees extra playing time.

A playoff component

They could also transform the name of the University Football Playoff to the Clemson Football Playoff. After losing out on the enjoyable in the very first year of the playoff, the Tigers have actually made the four-team playoff in each of the last 6 years. Clemson has actually won 6 championship game, made 4 title video games, as well as made 2 champions, every one of which are connected for the most in university football with Alabama. Other than the Tigers as well as Crimson Trend, nothing else institution has actually won greater than 2 championship game.

Clemson's worrying dish touches

For every one of the success Clemson has actually had in championship game for many years, the Tigers will certainly be attempting to work out some New Orleans devils. One dish Clemson hasn't had the ability to win is the Sugar Dish. The Tigers last showed up in the Sugar Dish in 2018, shedding to Alabama 24-6 in the University Football Playoff semifinal. Total Clemson is 3-8 in New Orleans, with their last look in the Crescent City coming one year earlier in the 2020 University Football Playoff National Championship versus LSU. Clemson was up to Joe Burrow as well as the Tigers 42-25 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The Tigers will certainly likewise be aiming to break a five-game New Year's Day dish shedding touch. The last time Clemson showed up in a Brand-new Year's Day dish was back in 2018 in the Sugar Dish loss to Alabama. When they beat Illinois 30-0 in the Hall of Popularity Dish, the last win on New Year's Day for Clemson came all the means back in 1990.

Terrific T-Law

Heisman Prize finalist Trevor Lawrence will certainly be making his 5th beginning in the University Football Playoff, winning his initial 3 begins prior to the Tigers shed to LSU in 2015. The loss is the only imperfection on Lawrence's 34-1 document as a beginning quarterback. Despite having the loss, Lawrence still has yet to toss an interception in an University Football Championship game, tossing for 1,167 backyards as well as 8 goals in 141 pass efforts.

Lawrence began 9 video games this year for Clemson, missing out on competitions versus Boston University as well as Notre Dame after examining favorable for COVID-19. The junior masqueraded 22 goals this year, as well as included 7 ratings on the ground. Not just will 3 even more goal passes tie Deshaun Watson's college document of 90 passing goals, 302 even more passing lawns will certainly make Lawrence the 3rd Clemson quarterback to masquerade 10,000 lawns in his profession. Lawrence has actually tossed 3 goal passes or a lot more in 18 video games throughout his Clemson job, with the Tigers winning all 18 of those video games.

Clemson's offending organizer Tony Elliott will certainly miss out on the Sugar Dish after examining favorable for COVID-19 previously today. If they really did not have a quarterback like Lawrence in the layer, the favorable outcome would certainly be a bit extra worrying for Clemson. Quarterbacks trainer Brandon Streeter will certainly go up to journalism box to call the plays, as well as while there perhaps be a couple of very early missteps, anticipate Lawrence and also his placement train to fall under a rhythm instead swiftly.

Etienne's last act

As if needing to take care of Lawrence had not been challenging sufficient, Clemson likewise compels challengers to gameplan for running Travis Etienne. The Paul Hornung Honor finalist is the only FBS gamer with 850 lawns hurrying as well as 500 backyards obtaining this year. Etienne is 118 hurrying lawns far from coming to be the very first Clemson running back with 3 periods of a minimum of 1,000 backyards hurrying. The elderly has 4,920 job hurrying backyards, as well as if he obtains 80 even more hurrying lawns he would certainly end up being the very first ACC running back to get to 5,000 backyards hurrying, and also the 23rd gamer to get to that mark in FBS background.

A-one Amari

Due to the fact that they will not have to deal with broad receivers Tee Higgins as well as Justyn Ross this year, Ohio State will certainly obtain a little bit of a break. Higgins has actually carried on to the NFL, while Ross experienced a spine injury which has actually sidelined him for the period. Tipping up as Lawrence's favored target this year has actually been Amari Rodgers, that has 69 catches for 966 lawns and also 7 ratings this year. He'll come to be the 12th Clemson receiver to get to 1,000 lawns in a period if Rodgers includes 34 even more getting backyards to his period overall.

The Buckeyes did see Rodgers in 2014 in the Feast Dish, yet he had not been the exact same receiver as they'll see on Friday. Rodgers experienced a torn ACL in the springtime in 2014, as well as in some way had the ability to go back to the area versus Texas A&M early in the period. Despite the fact that Rodgers was healthy and balanced adequate to play, his fast turn-around time really did not permit him to completely recuperate from the injury, something he has actually had the ability to do this year in the offseason.

Signing up with Rodgers at pass receiver is Cornell Powell, that has actually taken 45 catches for 743 lawns and also 5 goals this year. If the Tigers have the ability to get involved in the red area, Ohio State is mosting likely to need to maintain tabs on limited end Davis Allen, that has simply 14 catches on the period, with 4 of them opting for goals. In such a way, Allen resembles Clemson's variation of Jeremy Ruckert.

Clemson's colossais

Clemson has actually done a fantastic work of maintaining their quarterbacks cleanse this year, permitting simply 18 sacks in 11 video games. An acquainted name to Ohio State followers aligning at left deal with for the Tigers is Jackson Carman. The junior was ranked as the most effective college possibility appearing of senior high school, as well as initially was an Ohio State target prior to he authorized with Clemson. After making third-team All-ACC honors in 2014, Carman went up to second-team All-ACC this year.

They'll likely require to do so on the ideal side of the offending line if the Buckeyes desire to place some stress on Lawrence. Right take on Jordan McFadden as well as appropriate guard Will certainly Putnam are both students. Although the duo does not have as much experience as Carman, left guard Matt Bockhorst, as well as facility Cade Foster, with each other the 5 type a solid system.

Sack assault

Clemson does not have a huge celebrity on the protective line like Ohio State finished with Chase Youthful in 2014. Rather, the Tigers have a number of men that can develop stress. The Tigers have 44 sacks on the period, yet the Tigers do not have a gamer with greater than 4 sacks on the period.

Fabulous freshers

If you intended to recognize the very best gamer on the Clemson protective line, it would certainly need to be fresher protective end Myles Murphy, that has a team-high 4 sacks this year. Much more outstanding is Murphy has actually required 3 fumbles this year, which is one of the most by a gamer under Dabo Swinney, as well as one of the most by a Clemson fresher because Ed McDaniel in 1988.

Signing up with Murphy as a fresher pressure on the protective line is Bryan Bresee. The defensive deal with has 4 takes on for loss, 3 sacks, as well as a forced fumble up until now this year. With the mix of Murphy and also Bresee making sounds early in their professions for the Tigers, Clemson is mosting likely to proceed being a pressure on the protective end for the near future.

Contusion Brothers

Leading Clemson in tackles this year is Baylon Spector, that has 67 takes on, 9.5 deals with for loss, and also 3.5 sacks this year. Spector has actually incorporated with James Skalski, with Swinney calling the mix the "Contusion Brothers". Skalski did miss out on a long time previously in the period with a groin injury, however must be healthy and balanced for Friday's video game. The Tigers are mosting likely to require Skalski as near 100% as feasible because back-up linebacker Jake Venables was shed for the period after enduring a damaged arm versus Pitt.

Nolan & close friends

There is no doubt that the quarterback of the Clemson second is. Elderly Nolan Turner is 2nd on the group with 61 tackles this year, as well as the safety and security has 3 of Clemson's 13 interceptions this period. Turner made first-team All-ACC honors, in addition to cornerback Derion Kendrick. Apart from Turner as well as Kendrick, anticipate to see the Tigers shuttle bus in a variety of protective backs, given that there is a lot of skill on the lineup, and also Swinney and also protective planner Brent Venables take full advantage of the skill and also attempt by obtaining a variety of gamers entailed.

Recap

Since of exactly how various the periods were for both groups, this video game is so difficult to call. Clemson had the ability to play almost a complete timetable, while Ohio State just played 6 video games in a routine that included a variety of beginnings and also quits. Will the 13 days in between the Big 10 National Championship as well as the Sugar Dish for Ohio State to resolve several of the disparities? That will be back for this video game that was missing out on versus Northwestern? These are simply a few of the numerous inquiries that are considering on the minds of Buckeye Country.

There's no doubt that Ohio State can match Clemson's ability. Inspiration should not be a trouble for the Buckeyes, either. As if shedding to the Tigers in 2015 had not been hard sufficient to tolerate, Dabo Swinney is tossing gas on the fire with a few of his remarks regarding Ohio State not belonging in the University Football Playoff. While Ryan Day is absolutely mosting likely to utilize this to discharge up his group, he can not enable Swinney's disrespect to obtain his group overhyped.

This is a video game that is mosting likely to be an additional one that boils down to the cable. Trevor Lawrence obtains approval in the quarterback fight, however Justin Area can still bring it. The distinction is, Wilson and also Olave this year can be what Higgins and also Ross were for Lawrence in 2015. With the quarterbacks basically terminating each various other out, this video game can boil down to the operating video game.

Ohio State recognizes they are mosting likely to have their hands complete attempting to reduce Travis Etienne, that is just one of one of the most vibrant gamers in ACC background. What stays to be seen is if Trey Preaching's crazy efficiency versus Northwestern a one hit marvel, or will Sermon get back at more powerful with the Buckeye offending line at complete stamina?

As attracting as if to take Ohio State right here, one more heartbreaking loss seems in order for the Buckeyes. The second isn't fairly as solid as we have actually seen in recent times, which needs to been a location Clemson will certainly target very early as well as typically. Despite the fact that he has claimed his thumb is great, the injury Area endured in the Big 10 National championship is worrying. If in some way the injury obtains re-aggravated at an early stage, it can create a lengthy video game, because Clemson can concentrate a lot more on the run. The Buckeyes keep up, they simply do not have fairly adequate at the end to leading Clemson.