7th: 2016 Fiesta Bowl: Clemson 31, Ohio State 0
This was the third time in history that Clemson had faced Ohio State. They had previously beaten the Buckeyes in the 2013 Orange Bowl, and the first time was the infamous Gator Bowl when Woody Hayes punched a Clemson player.
There was a lot of anticipation for this game. The Buckeyes had just won against Michigan. Their only loss of the season was at Penn State. That loss was sufficiently flukey that the CFP committee placed Ohio State in the playoff over the Nittany Lions, who would go on to win the Big 10 Championship game but had two losses.
When Deshaun Watson threw an interception on Clemson’s first drive (Mike Williams fell), it didn’t seem like luck would be on their side. Then, they got a little momentum. They scored a touchdown. Then a field goal. Then another touchdown.
They took a 17-0 lead into the half, but it certainly didn’t seem like anything had been won yet. Ohio State’s defense wasn’t making anything easy for Clemson.
Yet eventually, the harsh reality settled in for the Buckeyes: they couldn’t move the ball against the Tiger defense. Clemson added another touchdown in the third quarter. After the ‘nail in the coffin’ touchdown in the fourth quarter, the Buckeyes started throwing up prayers.
This game didn’t feel like a blowout until it was over.