Buckeyes May Need Big Point Total to Overcome Clemson
By Rob Ogden
It took all of 42 points for Ohio State to beat a Michigan team that ranks 45th in the country in scoring offense. How many will it take to beat Clemson?
The Tigers' offense ranks eighth in the category, averaging 40.2 points per game.
The Buckeyes know they're going to have to score some points, and they know they'll have to get a few stops on defense, which is why coach Urban Meyer has made some changes to the struggling unit during bowl preparation.
But senior center Corey Linsley said his concern is about Clemson's offense, not the Buckeyes' defense.
"I don't feel there's a necessity to score at all because of the defense," Linsley said. "With as good of an offense as they have, we're probably gonna have to put up some points. That's just the nature of the beast."
Linsley referred specifically to Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd and receiver Sammy Watkins — both all-ACC selections.
The Ohio State defense, meanwhile, could be without a pair of its stars.
Junior cornerback Bradley Roby is still rehabbing from a knee injury he suffered during the Big Ten Championship game Dec. 7 and sophomore defensive end Noah Spence never made the trip.
Both are questionable for Friday's Orange Bowl.
Even so, receiver Corey Brown isn't questioning his defensive teammates.
"I think our defense is really good," Brown said. "People can say what they want to say but I think our defense is capable of stopping even a high-powered offense like this."
If it does turn into a shootout, though, Brown said they're prepared.
Ohio State possess the No. 3-ranked scoring offense in the country, but Clemson is no slouch on defense, either.
The Tigers, who posses one of the nation's best pass rushers in Vic Beasley, rank 18th in points against, allowing an average of 21.1 points per game.
The Buckeyes have scored fewer than 30 points once this season — in a 34-24 loss to Michigan State.
That fact alone might cause one to think the pressure is on Ohio State's offense to light up the Sun Life Stadium scoreboard, but Brown said they put that pressure on themselves every week.
"It's what we're supposed to do. We're an offense, we're supposed to score, we're one of the top offenses in the country," Brown said. "It's not pressure, it's just what we have to do.
"We feel like every time we get the ball we have to score."
They might need to.
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