The Buckeyes and Tigers met for the second straight yr within the School Soccer Playoff.
Justin Fields threw six landing passes to outshine Trevor Lawrence and No. three Ohio State avenged final season’s painful School Soccer Playoff loss to Clemson with a 49-28 victory within the Sugar Bowl semifinal Saturday evening.
The Buckeyes (7-0) head to the CFP title recreation for the primary time because the inaugural playoff to face No. 1 Alabama on Jan. 11 at Arduous Rock Stadium in South Florida. Ohio State beat the Crimson Tide within the semifinals on the best way to the 2014 nationwide championship.
In a matchup of quarterback prodigies from Georgia, Fields may need given the Jacksonville Jaguars one thing to consider what do to with that first choose within the NFL draft. Lawrence is the presumptive No. 1, however Fields outplayed him on this evening, going 22 for 28 for 385 yards. He set a Sugar Bowl report for TD passes and did it enjoying greater than half the sport after taking a vicious shot the aspect that compelled him to overlook a play and spend time within the medical tent.
Lawrence was 33 for 48 for 400 yards and three complete touchdowns in what is predicted to be the junior’s last faculty recreation. His last move was intercepted, however Clemson (10-2) went 34-2 in his begins and gained a nationwide title when he was a freshman.
The third assembly between Clemson and Ohio State within the playoff, and fourth bowl matchup because the 2013 season, was a recreation the Buckeyes had been pointing towards ever since a 29-23 loss to Tigers within the Fiesta Bowl final yr.
That rating was all over the place the Buckeyes turned within the Woody Hayes Athletic Heart in Columbus this yr.
GAME PHOTOS: Ohio State routs Clemson 49-28 within the Sugar Bowl
An opportunity for revenge was practically derailed when the Large Ten canceled fall soccer in August due to the pandemic. An abbreviated Large Ten season precipitated extra complications, with the Buckeyes having three video games canceled due to COVID-19 points, together with their very own outbreak.
The playoff committee nonetheless appreciated Ohio State sufficient to place the Buckeyes within the last 4, regardless of a lot griping from numerous elements of the nation, together with Clemson.
Ohio State coach Ryan Day talked all week about what a terrific story it might be for the Buckeyes to outlive this rollercoaster of a season and nonetheless attain their aim.
Clemson took a 7-Zero lead on the opening drive after which went up 14-7 with Lawrence and Etienne working for scores.
From there it was all Buckeyes. Fields threw landing passes to tight ends Luke Farrell and Jeremy Ruckert on consecutive drives to present Ohio State a 21-14 lead early within the second quarter.
Working with out offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, who didn’t make the journey whereas in COVID-19 protocols, the Clemson offense could not reply. The Buckeyes saved rolling behind Subject, although not with out a main scare.
Subject scrambled on a third-and-long and took a tough shot to the appropriate aspect from Clemson linebacker James Skalski that put the Buckeyes star right into a fetal place earlier than rolling over onto his again in apparent ache.
The play was reviewed for a focusing on foul that resulted in Clemson’s prime linebacker being ejected and a first-and-goal for the Buckeyes.
Fields got here out for one play and returned to instantly throw a 9-yard landing move to Chris Olave that made it 28-14.
Fields went to the harm tent with Ohio State athletic trainers on Clemson’s subsequent possession, which did not final lengthy.
Fields was proper again on the market on the Buckeyes subsequent drive. He took one other hit on a scramble and slowly bought up. After every play he moved gingerly, however with Trey Sermon working exhausting and the Buckeyes offering good safety, Fields continued to carve up the Tigers.
He hit Ruckert for a 12-yard rating with 11 seconds left within the half.
A yr after blowing 16-Zero first-half lead in final yr’s excruciating semifinal loss to Clemson, the Buckeyes handed the Tigers their largest halftime deficit (21) because the 2012 Orange Bowl towards West Virginia (29 factors).
The second half began with Clemson wanting prefer it may need one other comeback in it. Fields was intercepted within the Tigers’ finish zone and Lawrence got here again with an 80-yard landing drive to chop it to 35-21.
Nervous time for the Buckeyes? Not for lengthy. Fields threw a superbly positioned bomb to Olave for a 56-yard landing move that made it 42-21 with 4:55 left within the third quarter.
And if there was any doubt, Fields threw one other rain-making TD move to Jameson Williams that formally went into the books as a 46-yarder, however traveled over 50 within the air.
Ohio State: Sermon adopted up his school-record 331-yard dashing Large Ten championship recreation with 193 on he floor and one other 61 receiving. The Oklahoma switch is having late-season breakout much like Ezekiel Elliott’s in 2014.
Clemson: Coach Dabo Swinney complained Ohio State’s six-game schedule was too brief to warrant a playoff spot and may even give the Buckeyes an unfair benefit. Sure, he mentioned the Buckeyes had been adequate to beat the Tigers, however he positioned Ohio State 11th on his coaches’ ballot poll simply the identical. It was nothing private, Swinney mentioned, however the Buckeyes positive seemed as in the event that they took it that approach, beating Clemson for the primary time in 5 bowl conferences.
The Buckeyes had been with out second-leading rusher Grasp Teague, beginning guard Harry Miller and two defensive ends in Tyler Friday and Zach Harrison. Ohio State didn’t give particulars of their absences however all 4 had performed within the Large Ten championship two weeks in the past.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes will make their second look within the School Soccer Playoff nationwide championship recreation. They beat Oregon to win the 2014 title.
Clemson: The Tigers open subsequent season with a doozy of a nonconference recreation towards Georgia in Charlotte.