Ohio State vs. Clemson, 12/31/16 – Expert Prediction
Written by: Jeffrey Stevens
Ohio State Buckeyes ( 11-1 SU, 6-6 ATS) vs. Clemson Tigers (12-1 SU, 6-7 ATS)
NCAAF: Saturday, December 31, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona
Line: Ohio State -3
It’s finally that time of year. Lose, and watch the game that really counts at home. The #3 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes and the #2 ranked Clemson Tigers will take the field at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona. Either win and go on to play for the National Championship, or make the trip home getting the “it’s ok, you tried your hardest” speech from the coach.
Buckeyes Come Back Against Michigan
After taking a loss earlier in the year against Penn State, losing against the Michigan Wolverines was not an option for the Buckeyes if they wanted a spot in the College Football Playoffs, and the refs knew it. Both teams were scoreless through the first quarter and Ohio State went into the locker room at the half trailing 7-10. Michigan and Ohio State both remained tight on defense in the third quarter only giving up a touchdown, but Tyler Burbin was able to connect on a 23 yard field goal late in the game to send it into overtime. After both teams scored a touchdown in the first overtime, the Buckeyes were able to cross the goal line for the win the second go round.
I choose not to write a whole lot about the officiating that played a large role in the outcome of the game. No, I am not a Michigan fan. It just saddens me to see a game that is effected by grown men who are not on the field to play. The game was the defensive matchup we were expecting and it showed in the final numbers. J.T. Barrett was able to connect on 15 of 32 passes for 124 yards and an interception. He also led the ground attack for Ohio State, running for a touchdown and 125 yards on 30 carries. The Buckeyes showed just how strong they are on defense by holding Michigan to just 91 rushing yards on 43 attempts.
Watson Comes Up Huge In ACC Championship Game
The Clemson Tigers were a lock in the College Football Playoffs, as long as they came up with what was supposed to be an easy win against Virginia Tech for the ACC Championship. The Tigers were able to end the first quarter up 14-7 and dinished the half up 21-14. The Hokies were able to stay within striking distance throughout the game, but fell short to Clemson 42-35. Deshaun Watson was a beast in the game, tossing the ball for 288 yards and three touchdowns. Watson was also Clemson’s leading rusher, picking up 85 rushing yards and scrambling across the goal line for two more scores on the ground.
The Tigers have had another incredible season and managed to put up an average of 40.2 points per game this season. They racked up an average of 505.7 yards per week with 173 of them coming on the ground. Clemson was strong on defense, limiting their opponents to just 18.4 points a game and holding them to 313.9 yards. They gave up an average of 125.8 yards on the ground, which could be a weakness for Clemson against the Buckeyes.
Ohio State is:
- 2-6 ATS in their previous 8 games.
- 2-5 ATS in their previous 7 games.
- The total has gone over in 5 of their previous 6 games
The Ohio State Buckeyes are if not the strongest, one of the strongest defenses Clemson has faced this season. Ohio State has given up an average of just 14.2 points per game this year and has limited their opponents to an average of 282.3 yards per game. The Tigers will need to show that they are a threat running the ball against the Buckeyes in order to create more opportunities for Watson throwing the ball down the field. Love him or hate him, Urban Meyer is an amazing coach and when you give him this long to prepare for a game, his defense is usually on point. If I were ever going to put any cash on Ohio State, it would be here.
Pick: Ohio State -3
The College Football Playoffs are finally here. Well, in a couple of weeks anyway. The Ohio State Buckeyes and the Clemson Tigers will take the Field in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on December 31 to determine who will go to the National Championship game.
Pick: Total Under 60.5
No Bio Provided
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