Clemson survives classic against Ohio State, 29-23

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Joe Broback

Contributor at Champion Insiders
Joe is a writer covering the NFL, NBA, NHL and college football. He also currently writes for SB Nation’s Underdog Dynasty, covering the American Athletic Conference since 2016. Joe enjoys collecting shoes, playing sports, and anything fitness related.
Joe Broback
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While the first semifinal game didn’t result in a classic, the Fiesta Bowl picked up the slack. LSU dominated the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, beating Oklahoma 63-28, and left fans wanting more for the second game. Ohio State and Clemson went back and forth, even if it didn’t look like the game would end that way.

A quick Ohio State start, but Clemson responds

Largely behind the legs of J.K. Dobbins, who had 141 yards rushing, the Buckeyes jumped out to a 16-0 lead. Clemson lacked energy, Ryan Day had Brent Venables number, and injuries hampered Clemson’s attack. All of the momentum was in Ohio State’s favor, but the Tigers produced some small victories.

Two of Ohio State’s drives ended in field goals, but could have been touchdowns. Dobbins caught what appeared to be a touchdown on one drive, but replay showed that the ball hit the ground and moved afterwards. That kept the margin of deficit minimal for Clemson to respond.

Led by Trevor Lawrence’s legs, the Tigers took back the lead in the second half at 21-16, and then the fun began. Ohio State responded with a score of their own to go up 23-21 with three minutes left. The Tigers needed just four plays and 1:18 to make the score 29-24. The game ended when Justin Fields threw an interception with 45 seconds left.

Quick Notes

  • Lawrence showcased his running abilities on his 67-yard touchdown run, and showed he’s faster than many realized.
  • Chase Young didn’t have the stats of a dominant game, but he made an impact despite getting double teamed and having Clemson scheme around him. Box score isn’t everything people.
  • Traction on the field was terrible, and might have led to some injuries.
  • Those injuries affected a number of key players, including Dobbins, Lawrence, and Ohio State CB Jeffery Okudah. All came back to play but were out at some point in the game.
  • This game gave us our third competitive playoff game since the College Football Playoff’s inception. Semifinals aren’t typically this entertaining, so hopefully you were able to enjoy it.
  • Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields both return next year, and that’s something to look forward to in 2020.

Conclusion

Ohio State and Clemson gave us a classic, which is what many expected. Both teams had their struggles, but eventually figured things out. The stars showed out, big plays were made, and we ended our night with an entertaining game. It’s hard to ask for more than that. Now, we’ll get a Tigers champion guaranteed. Joe Burrow vs. Trevor Lawrence. Buckle up for more fun.

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