January 1st at 8pm Friday night on ESPN is the rematch of Ohio State vs Clemson in the College Football Playoff. This is the 2nd game of the semi-final round that night (The Rose Bowl is Alabama vs Notre Dame at 4pm). The Clemson Tigers are favored by 7 points with head coach Dabo Swinney notably voting for Ohio State to be ranked 11th in the country instead of their final placement of third.
Ohio State Still Getting Started
The Ohio State Buckeyes have only played 6 games this season compared to the eleven games that Clemson has played. No fault of their own, but they lack the experience of other teams from other conferences that didn’t sit out two months. Running back Trey Sermon just got going in the Big Ten championship game when in a normal season he would have 5 more productive games under his belt.
Hopefully Ohio State has their best game still in them and puts it out there on Friday in the CFB Playoff. Ohio State can have big run yards again this week, like they did against Northwestern, but they will need to put the ball in the end-zone and not settle for field goals to beat Clemson.
Clemson is Dangerous
Clemson can probably get a lot of yards receiving against the unexperienced secondary of Ohio state, who will most likely play soft coverage to keep the big time playmakers (Amari Rodgers, EJ Williams and Cornell Powell) in front of them. But within the 20 yard red-zone, the receiver advantage is diminished.
Same Dance Different Year?
Ohio State had a 16 to 0 lead last year against Clemson and with the bad calls and a pick in the final drive could not win the game. The Buckeyes probably outplayed the Tigers. Ohio State could come out again this year and jump on Clemson with Justin Fields, Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson and Trey Sermon all making plays. At the same time, Clemson showed that they can explode on a team when they dispatched Notre Dame last week. So both teams can be lethal meaning this will be a close game once again.
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