Coach Woody Hayes stated, “You’ll find out that nothing that comes easy is worth a dime.”. Nothing is going to be easy for the Ohio State Buckeyes, as they prepare to face Clemson in The 2019 Fiesta Bowl.
Like Ohio State, Clemson comes into this game undefeated. Unlike Ohio State, Clemson comes into this game untested, averaging 47 points a game. Clemson had a 21-20 nailbiter at North Carolina on September 28th, but have had no close games since that close call in Chapel Hill.
Below are three areas I will be focusing upon when this game kicks off at 8pm on ESPN…
- Clemson’s Wide Receivers Versus The Ohio State Secondary ~ Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross are the Tigers’ leading receivers, and both are going to be nearly impossible to shut down. Ohio State has the talent to cover these receivers, but cannot give up big yards after the catch to them. Jeff Hafley’s coverage schemes for the secondary may need to be mixed up periodically, to try and confuse Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
2. Clemson’s Interior Offensive Line Versus Ohio State’s Defensive Line ~ Chase Young is going to be double and triple-teamed by Clemson, so it will be essential for the other Ohio State defensive linemen to be able to apply pressure on Trevor Lawrence. How well the Clemson offensive line can protect against Robert Landers, Davon Hamilton, Jashon Cornell, and the other defensive linemen will bear watching.
3. Clemson’s Travis Etienne Versus Ohio State’s Rush Defense ~ Ohio State has been effective against the run, only giving up an average of 100 yards per game on the ground. Clemson’s Travis Etienne comes into this game with an impressive 1,500 and 17 touchdowns. While the Clemson passing game is strong, Ohio State cannot become complacent against a back as good as Etienne. Ohio State’s linebackers need to step up big here.