Clemson lost to No. 2 Ohio 29-23 at the Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., On Saturday.
The Tigers (14-0) advance to the Academy Football Soccer Championship where they face No. 1 LSU (14-0) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on January 13. Clemson has won 29 consecutive games and has the chance to win national championships. Ohio State (13-1) dropped a 16-0 lead in the first half and took its first loss under coach Ryan Day.
Here are three takeaways from the second college football soccer football match:
Trevor Lawrence did it again
Clemson reached 23-21 with 3:07 left in regulation and had the ball at 6. Then Lawrence, who had completed 15 of 30 passes at this point, led a quadruple scoring game that just unfolded. 1:18.
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Lawrence hit Justyn Ross for an 11-meter pass before making an 11-meter run. (Lawrence finished the night with 16 carries for 107 yards). Lawrence then hit Amari Rodgers for 38 yards from the sideline before Travis Etienne got a 34-yard touchdown for the touchdown. Just like that, Clemson had the lead again.
Lawrence, a sophomore, remains undefeated as a starter. It wasn’t his best night, but it was the best when it was the most important.
The targeting call changed the game
The Buckeyes led 16-0 when Shaun Wade threw Lawrence in the third and 5th. However, Wade was asked to aim while reviewing the video and to launch. The sentence overturned the momentum. The Tigers drew 14 points before halftime, thanks to the arrival of Travis Etienne and Lawrence.
Was it Wade’s hit? It was a helmet-to-helmet blow, but partly because Lawrence ran into contact. What did Wade have to do? He is aiming as a rule, but the rule needs to be improved. The debate will increase the more the penalty is called in these games.
The Buckeyes offense didn’t even recover the momentum, reached the red zone three times, but settled for goals in each area. That was the difference between a first half knockout and allowing the Tigers to return to the game at halftime.
The state of Ohio will be back soon
The Buckeyes were fanatical about returning to this stage after three years of stoppage time, and despite another controversial penalty from the SEC crew, still had a chance to win in the final minute before Justin Fields was thrown by Nolan Turner. Clemson in the end zone.
If Wade is not called for a goal, or a Justyn Ross fight that resulted in a Jordan Fuller touchdown is not upset, then the Buckeyes might win. Running back J.K. Dobbins’ ankle injury was also a huge factor.
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This game was different from the 31-0 blow the Buckeyes had against Clemson three years ago. Ohio State under Day proved to be the big stage and will probably be again next year with Fields and defense in the Big Ten for the last three seasons.