2. Chad Smith’s big 3rd down play
You may not remember this play in particular, but it one of those game-savers that were absolutely important for the Tigers winning this game.
Ohio State took the lead with a little more than 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter and then the Buckeyes got the ball back with 9:59 left in the fourth. The Buckeyes would go on a drive that would take up 6:52 on the clock before ultimately having to punt the ball back to the Tigers, pinning Clemson inside its own 10-yard line.
One of the single-biggest plays of the game came with 4:15 remaining. Ohio State was facing a 3rd-and-5 from the Clemson 40-yard line. If the Buckeyes got the first down there, they would have the opportunity to run off potentially up to two more minutes off the clock, maybe more.
Justin Fields threw a tunnel screen to Austin Mack and Ohio State had blockers out in front. For just a second, you can see a hole that looks as if Mack could break it off for more than just the first down, but Chad Smith evaded a blocker and made the tackle, forcing the Buckeyes to punt and give the ball back to Trevor Lawrence for one final drive.
Smith had several plays like that during the game, but no tackle was bigger than that one in that spot when the Tigers needed it most.