Clemson head coach Dabo Sweeney had come into this game with the defending ACC champ Tigers looking to head back to the College Football Playoff National Championship. What he forgot about was how he completely disrespected the Ohio State Buckeyes by ranking them 11th in the polls stating that he felt that there were teams that were better than the Buckeyes including Texas A&M who got smashed by Alabama earlier in the season.
I think it’s safe to say that came back to bite Clemson in the ass. On my podcast, “4th &15 with mel and smooth,” I had made it clear that the Buckeyes were one of the four best teams in the country despite playing fewer games. Friday night, they showed why. The Buckeyes had plenty of what we players called “bulletin board material,” and for good reason. Nobody wanted to see the Buckeyes at all!
Think about this… every power five football conference went to conference-only play for this season. This meant outside of BYU, NONE of the power five schools had non-conference games to start their season. So no tune-up games against the citadel for Clemson among other games. When Big Ten play started the Buckeyes left the gate smoking. They beat every opponent by a margin of 35 points with the exception of Indiana and Northwestern. Both were the Buckeyes signature wins as the Hoosiers and Wildcats were both ranked in the top-10 and top-25, respectively.
Ever since last season, Buckeyes QB Justin Fields had been playing as if he was out for blood. In the Sugar Bowl, he avenged his only loss. The Buckeyes running game led the charge as record-setting running back Trey Sermon kept the hot hand going as he would shred Clemson’s defense all night for 191 yards and a touchdown. What’s even more interesting is that Buckeye QB Justin Fields would go 22/28 for 385 yards and six, yes folks, SIX touchdowns and one interception. The six touchdown passes are tied for a bowl record.
Yes, Trevor Lawrence and the Clemson offense tried their best to hang with the Buckeyes, but this was nothing short of a revenge game. Buckeye head coach Ryan Day had this team motivated and will be motivated again on January 11 as they will face Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide for the national title.
The Buckeyes are now 3-2 in the Sugar Bowl. Once again, the Buckeyes will be the underdog, but don’t count the Buckeyes out as they were the first college playoff era national champion beating the same opponent in Alabama on their path to get to the championship back in 2015. Also, keep in mind that the last time the Buckeyes won the Sugar Bowl they also won the national championship.
FINAL PREDICTION: This will be a tough game. The Crimson Tide aren’t the number one team in the nation for nothing. I have faith in the Buckeyes, so I am sticking with the Scarlet and Gray. RYAN DAY gets his first of many national titles. 34-30, BUCKEYES!! O-H-I-O!!!