Game Day is here, and so are the nerves and the paranoia. The angst and the dread are there too. I have this knot in my stomach as we are minutes away from the opening kickoff. Clemson is ready. Ohio State is ready, and as both teams take the field, the anticipation kicks in and I am ready. This is what Ohio State and Clemson is here for a spot in the College Football Championship Game. All of the players are ready to unleash a whooping on each other. As a College Football fan, no matter what the end result is, we had a hell of a season. A rollercoaster ride of ups and downs. And Clemson has gone through the same ride. This is a successful season for both of their standards, but a win would be ideal. We will see how it goes.
On the opening possession, J.T. Barrett begins the game with a pop pass to Samuel to ensure he gets his quota for touches per game. The drive then stalled as on 3rd and 8, Barrett finds an open Mike Weber out of the backfield for an easy first down catch. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, Weber dropped the pass and the Buckeyes punt the ball back to Clemson. Clemson began past the 15-yard line, but their first drive only lasted two plays. A receiver slipped on the turf and Gareon Conley undercut the route for the games first turnover. With decent field position, the Buckeyes drive ended on a sack after Michael Jordan went down after with a key injury. Demetrius Knox was inserted into the game and gave up the first sack of the game after failing to get off the line to block and Tyler Durbin pushed the field goal a smidge to the right. Clemson took over and drove into Ohio State territory for a field goal and currently lead the Buckeyes 3-0. The Buckeyes got the ensuing kickoff and Parris Campbell returned it to the Clemson 46-yard line. After another missed field goal, the Buckeyes leave more points on the field. Clemson takes over at their own 30-yard line. The Tigers take the ball 67 yards on 9 plays and Deshaun Watson takes it in to extend their lead 10-0. Ohio State get the ball back on their 23-yard line and reach Clemson territory and end the 1st Quarter on a 1-yard gain. The predictability of the play calling and the inability to block and get open in space, coupled with the nerves that has shaken Tyler Durbin to the core have cost the Buckeyes as it should be a 10-6 game, but things happen. Here is to another quarter.
After receiving the Buckeye punt, Clemson begins their next drive at their 11-yard line. The Silver Bullets makes the stop as Jalyn Holmes and Raekwon McMillan stop Watson short of the line to gain. The Tigers punt and the ball takes a Clemson roll to the Buckeyes 11, pinning them deep in their territory. Ohio State was once again plagued by drops and untimely penalties and it results in another Buckeye punt. The Clemson Tigers began their next drive with the lead at their 26-yard line. The Clemson Offense looked to tack on another score to pad their lead, but Malik Hooker added to his interception statistics as the most of the Buckeye crowd burst into excitement. Hopefully, this will bring energy to the offense because they are struggling to make plays and the play calling is predictable at best. Mike Weber needs to be fed like Zeke was because he still has no carries for the game. Long behold, Weber on the first play of this drive received his first carry of the game for a gain of 5 yards. The interception was all for nothing as the Buckeyes punt once again bringing up his total to 189 yards for the game compared to the entire offenses 76 yards. This is not looking too good, but I will keep the faith. The Clemson offense received and took the ball in the end zone on another wheel route to a leaking Running Back. Baker was left in coverage and Holmes had a roughing the passer penalty to guarantee a touchback. The Buckeyes end the half with a 17-0 deficit. They all look defeated as their punter doubles the offensive output with 240 yards to the offenses 88. Things need to change or they will get blown out. See you after halftime.
On Clemson’s first drive of the second half, the Buckeyes look to stop the bleeding. Three plays later, the Buckeyes come up big on defense to force a Clemson punt. The possession did not last long as Weber fumbled the ball, putting the Buckeyes in a bad spot. This is probably what happens when you don’t feed him enough. Anyway, the Clemson Tigers raced into Ohio State territory once again and that is when the Buckeyes made three huge defensive plays in a row. Three big tackles for loss and one, a sack from McMillan is a welcome sign for the way the game has been for us fans. A near offsides penalty by Dre’mont Jones cost the Buckeyes the stop, but Huegel missed the field goal wide left to keep the score at 17-0. It is within reach to creep back into this game, but it’ll take some imagination with the playcalling. The Tigers force another punt as they continue to shut down the Ohio State Offense. On their drive, they reach the Ohio State territory, but the defense comes up with their second sack of the game forcing a rare Clemson punt. Ohio State comes back with another punt on their own after another sack of Barrett. Well, the end is here. Watson scored once again to push the lead to 24-0. It is now over with Beck and Warriner’s inability to call anything but swing passes. After back to back deep shots and two penalties on Clemson, Weber runs the ball, then runs over the defender and fumbles. Next play, Barrett throws a pick. I am ready for this game to be over because I am sick to my stomach at what I am seeing. The players are getting a bit chippy as Weber pushes Tankersley after the interception and Watkins comes to his rescue. The end of the 4th Quarter as the Tigers look to salt away the game. They get into Ohio State territory once again, but they end up punting the ball. Samuel earned some yardage as he gained 64-yards on a counter play. The Buckeyes line immediately gathers more negative yardage on a false start and it set them back 5 yards and a sack on the next play. On 3rd and 17 the Buckeyes turn it over with a pick that nearly went for six points. Gallman punches it in for another score. Clemson up 31-0. At this point, I just want some points to cap a terrible showing. On 4th and short Weber gets stuffed and the shut-out is still there. The Clemson Tigers win 31-0 and blank the Buckeyes for their first shutout since 1993 to TTUN. This has been one hell of a ride and you can only grow from this, no matter how bad it tastes at this moment. Life will go on and this will certainly be a long cold offseason for all of us. Good job team and it has been a great season and good work Clemson, you deserve it. Goodnight folks.