SportsCollege SportsOhio State


No. 2 Ohio State faces No. 3 Clemson in CFP at Fiesta Bowl

Ohio State Buckeyes football
Posted at 8:03 PM, Dec 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-26 20:03:22-05

The Buckeyes and Tigers have been in this spot before. They met in the 2016 semifinals at the Fiesta Bowl and Clemson won 31-0. Much has changed since then, including two national championships for the Tigers and a new coach for the Ohio State. For the Buckeyes, it’s also a chance to show they occupy that same elite status as programs like Clemson and Alabama.


Ohio State DE Chase Young vs. Clemson LT Jackson Carman. Young is an All-American and Heisman Trophy finalist. He had 16 1/2 sacks in 11 games and is likely to be the first non-quarterback selected in the NFL draft. Carman, a sophomore, is a former five-star recruit from Ohio. He will probably need help to contain Young. Plus, the Buckeyes like to move around their top pass rusher to mess with opponents’ protection schemes.


Ohio State: QB Justin Fields. There is so much talent on both side it’s hard to narrow it down, but the quarterbacks will command the spotlight because they are huge stars. Fields threw 40 touchdowns passes and just one interception. He also ran for 10 scores. Fields has been dealing with a sore left knee. How that impacts his excellent speed could be pivotal.

Iowa: QB Trevor Lawrence last year became the first freshman quarterback to lead a team to a national championship since 1985. After a little bit of a slow start this season, he was playing at an elite level by the end of the year. He completed 68% of his passes, with 34 TD throws.


Fields and Lawrence grew up about 20 miles from each other in the northwest suburbs of Atlanta. Both are sophomores, but this will be the first game they have ever played against each other. ... Each team has a star running back. Clemson’s Travis Etienne averages 8.24 yards per carry and has scored 19 touchdowns. Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins averages 6.46 yards per carry and has scored 22 touchdowns ... Ohio State’s Ryan Day is in his first season as the Buckeyes’ head coach after taking over when Urban Meyer stepped down. Day is trying to become the first first-year coach to win a national title since Larry Coker did it at Miami in 2001. ... Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has the Tigers in the playoff for the fifth straight season. They have reached the championship game three times.