Clemson Shuts Out Ohio State to Advance to National Title Game
Clemson’s defense handed Ohio State its first shutout in 23 years while Deshaun Watson had another big game to lead the Tigers to a 31-0 win in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.
Watson, the two-time Heisman finalist, rushed for 259 yards, ran for 57 more and scored three touchdowns to lead Clemson back to the national title game and a rematch with top-ranked Alabama. The Clemson offense was impressive, rolling up 470 yards. But the big story was the Tiger defense, which held Ohio State to a season-low 215 total yards.
The Buckeyes came into the game ranked ninth in rushing offense (258 yards per game), but were held to just 88 yards on the ground. Take away a big 64-yard run by Curtis Samuel in the fourth quarter and Ohio State averaged just 1.09 yards per carry on 22 rushes. It wasn’t much better through the air as Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett threw for just 127 yards and two interceptions while being sacked three times and pressured throughout the night.
This was the first time since 1993 that Ohio State was shut out and the first time in Urban Meyer’s career that one of his teams was held scoreless.
Clemson advances to the national title game for a rematch of last year’s contest against Alabama on Jan. 9.