Wisconsin just showed a few different ways how to beat Ohio State’s defense – Jonathan Taylor just ran all over them in the Big Ten Championship (20 carries/148 yards/1 TD (7.4 ypc) and Wisconsin built a 21-7 lead early. Wisconsin moved the ball with good run blocking, a great run game, and good playcalling with a lot of pre snap motion. Clemson can do all three. Wisconsin also lost that game just as much as Ohio St won it – Wisconsin’s punter dropped a punt inside the 10 that was unforced. Ohio State needed a fake punt pass on 4th and 9 to get back in the game. Fields had 12 carries for 1 yard so his running was affected by the sprained mcl. He said a few days ago he was about 80-85% and he wore a brace every day in practice the last few weeks.
Clemson’s gotten called out for their strength of schedule but Ohio State also played Maryland, Rutgers, Nebraska, Michigan St, Northwestern, Indiana, and Miami Ohio. None of those teams were good and three were terrible. The better part of the Big Ten schedule – Penn St, Michigan, and Wisconsin – Sean Clifford, Shea Patterson, and Jack Coan don’t belong in the same conversation as Trevor Lawrence. This is by far the best and most physical offense Ohio State’s defense is going to face this season. Etienne should move the ball on the ground for Clemson and Ross and Higgins should have their chances in the passing game.
Clemson can only play who’s on their schedule. They obliterated everyone on their schedule minus one slip up vs North Carolina. Dabo has been using this as fuel for months and with the extra time off I wouldn’t be surprised if Clemson comes out hot. Ohio State’s an incredible team but Ryan Day is coaching his first playoff game. Dabo is 9-1 ATS his last 10 bowls. Justin Fields even at 100% healthy doesn’t have the big game experience that Trevor Lawrence does. Coaching and player experience advantages for Clemson combined with the fact that its seems like the country was looking for a reason to doubt the Tigers all year makes me believe Clemson will be just a little extra dialed in for this game and come out hot to prove why they were the national champs who blew out Alabama last year.