Ohio State and Clemson meet in the Playoff Semifinal presented by the Fiesta Bowl. Here are three keys that may determine the game.
Clemson’s Turnover Problem: Clemson was great at just about everything all season. One problem that plagued their offense: turnovers. The Tigers ranked just 104th nationally, throwing 1.15 interceptions/game. Ohio State ranked No. 1 nationally in pass efficiency defense and was top ten in forced turnovers per game, interceptions per game, and turnover margin.
Ohio State’s Passing Problem: Ohio State was great at just about everything in 2016, except being able to stretch the field vertically. The Buckeyes ranked 106th in the nation, averaging just 11.25 yards/pass completion. They produced just four pass plays longer than 40 yards in 12 games, tied with Rutgers.
One Score Fortune: Both Clemson and Ohio State rode their luck in close games. Clemson went 6-1 in one-score games, most notably needing a missed field goal to get by N.C. State. Ohio State’s two biggest wins, Wisconsin and Michigan, came in overtime. The latter was a matter of inches. If oddsmakers are correct, this game will come down to one score either way.