College Football Football Options: SN prefers LSU, but who wins between Ohio State, Clemson?

The College Football Playoff semifinals are here.

No. 1 LSU (13-0) meets No. 4 Oklahoma (12-1) in the Peach Bowl at 4 p.m. on Saturday and No. 2 Ohio (13-0) meets No. 3 Clemson (13-0) at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at 8 p.m. in the race during the race.

GAME TOYS
Peach Bowl | Fiesta Bowl

The winners move on to the College Football Playoff at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on January 13. With that in mind, Sporting News staff make their predictions for Saturday’s semifinals:

The LSU-Oklahoma option

Bill Bender: LSU 41, Oklahoma 31

“Oklahoma is more than capable of winning a penalty here, knowing that it has seen the last two seasons in Georgia and Alabama. playing The Sooners has other factors to consider, such as the worst win margin among the Playoff teams (minus-7) and the highest penalty shootout in any Power 5. team It’s hard to trust a team like this to win a Well trending like this, especially with the suspension of defensive lineman – and sack leader – Ronnie Perkins. “Burrow and the Tigers go one step further for a national championship here.” – Bender

Jacques Al-Hatebe: LSU 45, Oklahoma 31

“Oklahoma is at the core of what should be a penalty shootout with LSU.” Heisman, Jalen Hurts, also has experience against the Tigers, going 2-0 against them as a starter in 2016 and 17. Most importantly, however, former coordinator Alex Grinch will not have enough contributors, including Delarrin safety. Turner-Yell (injury) and Perkins (suspension), which is not a good complaint for LSU’s offense, even though Clyde Edwards-Helaire is running back unable to play – with Burrow and receivers Ja’Marr Chase , Justin Jefferson and Terrace Marshall Jr. “- Al-Hateb

Mike DeCourcy: LSU 42, Oklahoma 20

“The Sooners were already in for a long day when they were selected to enter the Playoff and settled as seed No. 4. Because if it was the Tigers or the Buckeyes they would have to face No. 1-against-no, OU wouldn’t It would be beneficial, and then, as he prepared for this matchup, he ended up suspending three players, the Sooners didn’t have enough to move on and now they have fewer. – DeCourcy

Vinnie Iyer: LSU 52, Oklahoma 38

“The offense at LSU will have no problem, regardless of the injury to Edwards-Helaire, as Ronnie Perkins will not have Ronnie Perkins after Burrow. Being able to catch up enough, even with one (final) great game from CeeDee Lamb. “- Iyer

MORE: Selection for 40 postseason games

Clemson-Ohio State Choices

Bill Bender: Clemson 34, Ohio State 30

“These are almost identical teams in terms of what they are doing well and making it very difficult, which will be much closer than the last Fiesta Bowl semifinal, but the difference is still Trevor Lawrence. Paller last season and has played Justin Fields may win this game as well, but we think Clemson will make a few more games in the fourth quarter, but again, I was wrong with Ohio State in 2014 and Alabama. Ohio State-Clemson in 2016. Is Third Time a Charm? ” – Bender

Zac Al-Khateeb: Clemson 35, Ohio State 31

“Clemson has not been tested all season and you could hardly pick a worse team from Ohio as the first real challenge these Tigers face. Fields ‘dual threat ability combined with JK Dobbins’ tremendous ability and receivers Chris Olave and KJ Hill – they could be writing problems for a talented Clemson defense under SN All-American leadership Isaiah Simmons, but Clemson is still an extremely talented team and coach Dabo Swinney will have his players play with a chip in shoulder to shoulder. This stage will be the difference to another fantastic entry for the Playoff. “- Al-Hateb

Mike DeCourcy: Ohio State 31, Clemson 28

“For many in the public, the state of Ohio is not the team that won the first college football title, not even the team that won that one, twice winning Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan, 36.2 points. just the team that lost 31-0 to Clemson at the 2016 Playoff. This game, of course, has nothing to do with how this particular Buckeyes would develop. They weren’t the Buckeyes. The Tigers still have a great quarterback and a great team, have not been tested regularly and will find this OSU wastewater bigger challenge than the team that emerged from three years ago. – DeCourcy

Vinnie Iyer: Clemson 34, Ohio State 27

“Lawrence’s experience of winning a national championship will be the difference maker, as Fields’ inexperience of big play showed little in the first half of Big Ten’s big title game. Even slow starts won’t cut it against Clemson , a tough defensive game with more of his explosive playmakers – Tee Higgins, Justyn Ross and Travis Etienne – than Fields gets from Dobbins, Olave and others. Look for Brent Venables to have a good game plan to contain Fields, and for Lawrence to be unfazed by Greg Mattison (compulsory being Coordination by Kirk Herbstreit) – Iyer

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