Playstation Fiesta Bowl:
- No. 2 Clemson Tigers
- No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes
- 7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
- University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
Prediction: Clemson 37 Ohio State 34
It has been a long year for the Clemson Tigers, a long year to erase the memories of last year’s National Championship Game.
In last year’s game, Deshaun Watson gave Nick Saban and Alabama all they could handle, ending the day with 478 total yards, but just coming up short in the loss.
This year, the Tigers have not been as sharp, as they were a year ago, but find themselves, as ACC champs, and National Championship contenders. Again, this Tigers team goes as their quarterback goes.
If Watson and standout wide receiver, Mike Williams can continue their lethal connection, Clemson could set up a rematch with Nick Saban and Alabama.
It will be up to tackling machine, Ben Boulware to slow down the rushing attack of the Ohio State Buckeyes. The senior linebacker will look to end his collegiate career as a National Champion, something that eluded him a year ago.
Key Wins: #3 Louisville, #12 FSU, Win over #23 Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game
Key Loss: Pittsburgh
Ohio State Buckeyes:
The Buckeyes were the only team in the final four not to win their conference championship. That does not mean they are not deserving to be here. Ohio State’s only loss was on the road in Happy Valley, to Big Ten Conference champs, Penn State.
With Ezekiel Elliot, Michael Thomas, and Joey Bosa making their way in the NFL, Junior quarterback, J.T. Barrett was left to lead the 2016 Buckeyes.
Though he has not repeated the magic he brought to Urban Meyer’s squad in 2014, he does have them in a position to win two National Championships in three years, no small feat. Barrett will rely on his backfield mates, Mike Weber and Curtis Samuel to spark the offense.
Weber leads State on the ground, with a 1,000 yard rushing season, while Samuel has been the receiving leader. The struggles this season, have been well-documented, tight wins against Michigan State and Northwestern, and loss to Penn State really magnified deficiencies.
The key to victory for the Buckeyes lies with their head coach, Urban Meyer, who did the unthinkable in 2014, beat Alabama.
Key Wins: #3 Michigan, #8 Wisconsin, #10 Nebraska
Key Loss: Penn State