By Will Vaandervort.
With all the talk about Deshaun Watson’s playing status for the Russell Athletic Bowl, it seems everyone is overlooking a key matchup in the Dec. 29 bowl game between No. 17 Clemson and Oklahoma.
The Sooners are one of the nation’s best running teams, ranking ninth in the country at 268.6 yards per game on the ground. Clemson is seventh nationally in rushing defense, allowing just 97.7 yards per game.
Oklahoma has one of the best running backs in the country in Samaje Perine, though his status for the Russell Athletic Bowl is still in limbo after he left the Oklahoma State game with a sprained ankle. But if the Big 12’s Rookie of the Year does play, he will be a big challenge for the Tigers.
The freshman rushed for 1,597 yards and scored 21 touchdowns, while helping the Sooners to an 8-4 record. He finished the season ranked 8th nationally in rushing and fifth in rushing touchdowns. Against Kansas, he set an NCAA record with 427 yards, while scoring five touchdowns.