No 2 Ohio State (13-0) meets No. 3 Clemson (13-0) in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on Saturday. Play time is set for 8pm. at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Ohio State led the nation in offense (48.7) behind Heisman head Justin Fields and tied for third in defense (12.5) behind Heisman head Chase Young. Ryan Day is 16-0 as a coach and has updated the Urban Meyer model in Columbus. The Buckeyes are back in the Playoff for the first time after a 31-0 loss to Clemson at the 2016 Fiesta Bowl.
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Clemson, the defending national champions, holds a 28-game winning streak under Dabo Swinney. The Tigers finished fourth in offense (46.5) and first in defense (10.6) and had a talented roster around quarterback Trevor Lawrence and returned to Travis Etienne.
There will be a surplus of the first round of NFL talent on the field when these teams are linked. With that in mind, here’s everything you need for the CFP semifinal matchup:
Clemson vs. Ohio State Odds
Hearsay: Clemson -2
Total points: 63
Monoyline: Clemson -129, State of Ohio +109
Clemson is a two-point favorite according to Sports Insider odds. The line opened at -1.
Clemson vs. Ohio State of All Time
The Tigers have won all three matchups against the State of Ohio, and none of those experiences have been good for the Buckeyes. Swinney led Clemson to a win over Meyer under Ohio State in the 2014 Orange Bowl (40-35) and the 2016 Fiesta Bowl (31-0). The first meeting between these teams, of course, saw Buckeyes coach Woody Hayes shoot after beating Clemson’s Charlie Bauman in a 17-15 loss to the 1978 Gator Bowl.
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Three trends we need to know
– The Buckeyes were favored in every game this season and finished 9-4 against the spread. Ohio State, however, was 1-3 against the spread in its last four games.
– The Tigers also favored every game this season and finished 10-3 against the spread. Clemson finished the season with four straight caps.
– Clemson is 7-1 against the spread of bowl games in the Playoff era. Ohio State is 4-2 against the spread of bowl games in a stretch with a 5-0 record against underdogs since 2014.
Three things to look out for
Because both teams did not already have identical trends, each team made 14 turnovers this season. Ohio State lost 13 fumbles and Fields threw just one fumble. Lawrence dropped eight of Clemson’s 10 misinterpretations, and the Tigers lost four. Can the Ohio State’s loaded secondary – led by SN All-American Jeff Okudah – find some options? Or did Clemson’s defense, led by SN All-American linebacker Isaiah Simmons, cause some breathing? An advantage of one or two margins in the turnover battle can be the difference.
J.K. Dobbins had 100 touchdowns for 540 yards and seven touchdowns for the season against Penn State, Michigan and Wisconsin. The offense revolves around the junior running back. Etienne completed 1,500 yards and 17 flights on just 182 carries. The Buckeyes (2.82) and the Tigers (2.96) allow less than three yards per carry. Which team is orbiting?
The Buckeyes had just 215 yards and finished 3 of 14 in third place in the Tigers’ last loss. This prompted Meyer to refurbish the offensive staff and hire Day, who is now the coach. The fields should have more success throwing the ball under the field, but Clemson has allowed fewer first downs in the FBS. Will the Buckeyes be able to move the ball at will?
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Stat that matters
Has Clemson been tested? Not in the first quarter, where the Tigers have outscored their opponents 170-17. How will Clemson respond if Ohio State – which outscored its opponents 136-38 in the first quarter – starts quickly? This first quarter will set the tone for what should be another classic playoff run in the vein of the Alabama-Ohio State in 2014.
Clemson vs. Ohio State Prediction
SN’s latest bogus draft has a total of five players from Ohio State and Clemson in the first round and this does not include Lawrence, the supposed No. 1 in the Draft NFL 2020 or Fields, who could challenge that position. . Which of these first-round players makes game-changing games? Young or Okudah? Simmons, Etienne or Tee Higgins? This is a game where big players have to step up, and Clemson is at this stage more often. It will be tougher than the last match, but Lawrence will make enough plays over the top to lead the Tigers back to the CFP Championship game.
Clemson 34, Ohio State 30.