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Clemson vs Ohio State Live Fiesta Bowl
Saturday, December 31, 7:00 PM
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
Clemson vs Ohio State live – The road to this Playoff matchup was many things, but clear wasn’t one of them until games finished on championship weekend. As the No. 1 team, Alabama was never going to be headed to the desert (the top team gets regional deference). But getting this matchup meant the committee had to sort through Clemson, Michigan, Ohio state, Penn State, and Washington to fill the remaining three spots in the Playoff four. There were certainly cases for each of those teams.
The 2016 Fiesta Bowl is one of the high-water marks in the bowl’s nearly 50-year history, as it will play host to one of the College Football Playoff’s two semifinals for the first time on New Year’s Eve.
This 2016 Fiesta Bowl will actually be the second to go by that designation this year, after a January 2016 matchup between Ohio State and Notre Dame. This will be the second time in three years that the Fiesta Bowl has been played twice in the same calendar year.
Meet your 2016 ACC champions, just the same as last year’s.
Clemson entered 2016 ready to avenge the 45-40 loss to Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship. The Tigers got past close calls from both Auburn and Troy in the first couple of weeks, then faced a huge test on Oct. 1 against No. 3 Louisville.
The Cardinals hung tough throughout, but Clemson eventually pulled out a 42-36 victory. The Tigers had two more close calls against NC State and Florida State, needing overtime to beat the Wolfpack and winning by a field goal on the road against Florida State. Then, on Nov. 12, Pitt ruined the Tigers’ chances of an undefeated season, beating Clemson, 43-42, on a last-second field goal.
Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson regressed somewhat from his 2015 season — but it’s really not that much of a drop-off. By the end of the regular season, he had thrown more interceptions (14) as he did all year in 2015 (13). He also threw for nearly 500 yards fewer. Still, the Tigers have an elite defense, ranking near the top of the country both overall and against the pass.
Even with the loss to Pitt, the Tigers took care of business and beat Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship in Orlando to get back to the College Football Playoff. The real question is if they can get a rematch with Alabama and avenge the loss from last season.
Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State entered 2016 expecting to be in a rebuilding year, given that the Buckeyes returned an FBS-low six starters from last season. However, OSU proved that this was no rebuilding year after going into Norman during Week 3 and beating the Sooners, 45-24, proving that the Bucks are for real. Ohio State then won its next three games. Including a 30-23 overtime victory on the road against WIsconsin.
However, OSU’s hope for an undefeated season came to an end with a 24-21 road loss to Penn State, on a last-second Nittany Lions field goal. The Bucks would rebound with four straight wins, including a 59-0 victory over No. 10 Nebraska. That set up a showdown between Michigan to end the regular season, one which the Bucks won, 30-27, in overtime. Unfortunately, that loss to Penn State proved to hurt the Buckeyes in the Big Ten East, sending the Nittany Lions to the Big Ten Championship. Michigan’s upset loss to Iowa left the Wolverines sitting at home on Championship Saturday, as well.
Statistically, the Buckeyes have been impressive all season long in a lot of different areas. The defense, for instance, only allowed 14 points per game, ranking inside the top five in the country according to S&P+. On offense, the Bucks rank inside the top 3 in the nation in Rushing S&P+, too. Mike Weber leads the way with 1,072 yards and nine touchdowns. Quarterback J.T. Barrett isn’t too far behind with 969 yards and nine TDs, as well.
Ohio State made its case clear for the Playoff selection committee with what it did all season. Returning just six starters and winning 11 games is no easy task, but Urban Meyer sure made it look that way in 2016.
Source : SB Nation