Clemson's balance on offense is a concern for Ohio State Buckeyes

Joy Montgomery
December 30, 2016

"I'm not a coach, I don't demand touches", he said. After the season, Meyer told co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell to blow up the defense and start over. "Maybe she wanted me out of the house".

Ohio State travels back to the desert to face Clemson in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.

"We've had, I think, over 700-something snaps from Clemson from our scout team this bowl season", defensive end Sam Hubbard said. "We're not going to give anything easy". You see it all the time with guys coming through this program.

Most of the dominant players who helped Ohio State go 26-2 with a national championship the last two seasons have moved on to the NFL.

The Barrett-less Buckeyes were major underdogs, but Cardale Jones loved being the underdog and led them past the Crimson Tide, 42-35. No, Ohio State was my second choice if I didn't come to Clemson.

In a 45-24 win in Norman, the Buckeyes held Mayfield to 17-of-32 passing for two touchdowns, two picks, and 226 yards.

So it has been a couple years since we last saw Ohio State and things are better than ever for the Buckeyes. When you're grinding, it's tough to see the forest through the trees. Pass-rushers match the quarterback's hand when he's attempting a throw to disrupt the motion or get a tip or both.

Q. When you look at their secondary on film, is there anything that kind of sticks out to you in terms of what they bring to the table?

Buckeyes depend on Barrett to get them to title game

There is no lower gear for the football engine constructed by Ohio State coach Urban Meyer. They called it the Sammy Watkins Rule, he said. I know that their national championship game previous year hinged on some big special teams plays.

For players like Elflein and Fada, who also is a senior, ending up where they are today might not have been predictable. "I don't feel real strong about his arm".

At Alabama, freshman Jalen Hurts is two victories away from guiding the top-ranked Crimson Tide to a national title, but his emergence led to three quarterbacks transferring. You have Gareon Conley and Malik Hooker, who are both considered first-round talents, along with Marshon Lattimore and Damon Webb patrolling the defensive backfield. I feel like if we can limit him on the ground with his running then we'll be pretty good.

Conley, a 6-foot, 190-pound junior, is the most versatile. "It's as simple as that", wide receiver Mike Williams said. The linebacker tops the team charts with 87 stops on the season, including a career-high tying 16-tackle performance against MI in the regular season finale.

Ward is the smallest at 5-10, 185, but may be the most explosive athlete of the bunch. "I was a big Tim Tebow fan", Watson told reporters during a Fiesta Bowl press conference Wednesday. "Usually everybody has that one corner that's really good". But just an opportunity for us to regroup and make sure that we're staying on our Ps and Qs and looking at each other in the mirror and making sure that we're handling our business the right way. So you're trying to find matchups.

Ohio State remains a 3-point favorite, though Clemson has been predicted by many media pundits to emerge victorious.

Overall, I just think this is a bad matchup for Ohio State. "There aren't a lot of guys like that out there".

Right tackle Isaiah Prince, a sophomore in his first year as a starter, has been the target of much of the criticism after being beaten repeatedly for sacks at Penn State and in other games.

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