Five Predictions: Fiesta Bowl — Clemson vs. Ohio State

Ohio State uniform Fiesta Bowl

The reason people spend so much money to attend predicting school is because it costs a lot. Also, there is nothing like getting a prediction right when all of your high school teachers and three of your guidance counselors — including the main counselor with the school district — have all told you that leaving high school as a sophomore in order to study predicting under the great Cristof Orangeade would be a mistake.

Sure, there turned out to be no real person named Cristof Orangeade, and maybe his school ended up being an empty lot on the East side, but I learned a valuable lesson that day, which is that if I want to be a really great predictor, I’m going to have to go to an even better predictor’s school. And that is how I ended up spending nine semesters at Uncle Vic’s Predictory School.

And those early days have prepared me for today. For the here and now — Ohio State and Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl.

Five predictions have never been more important.

Let’s get going.

1. JK Dobbins will outrush Travis Etienne.

Granted, JK Dobbins may have twice the carries as Travis Etienne tonight, but any time Dobbins matches up against other top running backs, he has come out ahead this season. Clemson has given up 100 yards rushing to a couple of tailbacks this season, with 139 yards being the most allowed to one individual. I think Dobbins tops that. Etienne would need a couple of big hits to get there, but he’s entirely capable of doing that. If Ohio State can run the ball — and I think they can, then Dobbins could be looking at 35 carries in this one. He said he’s good for 60, by the way.

2. Trevor Lawrence will throw for at least 306 yards.

The most yards passing Ohio State has given up to a quarterback this season is Shea Patterson’s 305 and I refuse to believe that he will end the season having out-thrown Trevor Lawrence. Of course, if Lawrence only needs to throw for 230 yards, that’s probably not a good sign for the Buckeyes tonight.

3. Justin Fields will fumble at least once.

At this point, a Justin Fields fumble is a weekly occurrence. The key is to make sure Ohio State recovers this one. Be it a strip sack or a fumble on a hard hit while he’s picking up a first down — or nearly scoring, at some point he is going to put the ball on the ground. You know he’ll be coming into the game focused on protecting the ball, but that doesn’t always work. Clemson’s defense will be coming at him from a number of different directions, and he’s going to have to aware of all of them.

4. Chris Olave or Garrett Wilson will have a catch of at least 47 yards.

In talking to Clemson beat writers this week, I have learned about all of the Tigers’ weaknesses on defense and it turns out there are issues at all three levels. This seems odd since they are the top scoring defense in the nation, but then you would be too if you played in the ACC. One area where Clemson folks seem convinced Ohio State will be able to have a big play or two is downfield to Chris Olave. I’m assuming they didn’t mention Garrett Wilson because they just don’t know him yet.

5. Chase Young won’t be held sackless.

There has been quite a bit of talk about Jackson Carman and Chase Young facing off, but I don’t think Young is too concerned about who lines up opposite him. Standing next to him while he was answering the same question for the 29th time this week, you could see he was ready to play this game three days ago. I think he’s tired of hearing about how much he’s been held in check of late and he is once again ready to dominate.

One Response

  1. I blame OSU sports writers picking against us for this loss. Shameful.

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