The Clemson Tigers downed the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Fiesta Bowl in what was the most thriller CFB Playoff semifinal in the history of the playoff.
Trevor Lawrence wasn’t phased whatsoever when it came time to come through in the clutch.
The Tigers were down 23-21 with just 3:07 remaining and were facing a lot of field ahead them, taking over on their own 6-yard line.
Lawrence led Clemson on a 94-yard drive that took 1:18 off the clock and was capped off with a 34-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence to Travis Etienne. The Tigers converted on a 2-point try and took a 29-23 lead with 1:49 remaining.
Justin Fields, who had thrown just one interception all season, threw his second of the night to Nolan Turner in the end zone after leading the Buckeyes down the field. With the pick, the Tigers clinched their spot in the National Championship game for a second-straight season.
Here’s a look at the notable stats and our analysis from the victory.
Stats (via ESPN):
Passing: Trevor Lawrence 18-of-33 for 259 yards and 2 TDs.
Rushing: Lawrence 16 carries for 107 yards, 1 TD; Travis Etienne 10 carries for 36 yards, 1 TD.
Receiving: Etienne 3 receptions for 98 yards, 2 TDs; Justyn Ross 6 receptions for 47 yards.
It was the Tigers’ 29th-straight victory and they scored 29 points.
Things didn’t look good early on. Ohio State came out clicking on all cylinders and the Buckeyes jumped out to a 16-0 lead. Despite Ohio State taking complete control of the momentum overall, the Buckeyes couldn’t convert in the red zone on a few early drives and left the door open for Clemson to come roaring back.
The Tigers did just that.
Following a Buckeye defender picking up a target on Trevor Lawrence, the offense came alive. The Tigers scored two touchdowns before the half and cut the OSU lead to just two heading into halftime.
From that point on, the two teams traded blows to the end.
This was absolutely what we thought it was going to be. It was a ‘heavyweight boxing match’ with the two teams trading blows after blows. There were so many momentum-shifting plays and things that went in the Tigers’ favor and then would swing into the Buckeyes’ favor.
In the end, Clemson just found a way to win.
It was an absolute thriller and something that will be remembered for quite some time by Tiger fans.
Clemson will head to New Orleans to take on the LSU Tigers for the National Championship in just a couple of weeks.