Lawrence wills Clemson back, trails by 2 points at the break

Lawrence wills Clemson back, trails by 2 points at the break

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Lawrence wills Clemson back, trails by 2 points at the break

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GLENDALE, Ariz. — Third-ranked Clemson looked lethargic for much of the first half, then No. 2 Ohio State made two costly mistakes and all of sudden Clemson erased most of the Buckeyes’ 16-point lead and trail just 16-14 at halftime.

The Tigers got an 8-yard touchdown run Travis Etienne and then Trevor Lawrence took a quarterback draw and ran 67 yards for a score.

Ohio State dominated the first 27 minutes of the game thanks to J.K. Dobbins 142 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown run. Kicker Blake Haubeil made field goals of 21, 22 and 33 yards to take a 16-0 lead.

Clemson frantically tried to get something going late in the half and moved the football to OSU 45 where Lawrence was sacked by Chase Young for an 8-yard loss. However, replay ruled defensive back Sean Wade targeted Lawrence before Young got to him. The 15-yard penalty kept the drive alive.

Two plays later, wide receiver Justyn Ross drew a pass interference penalty from Amir Riep. Three plays after that, on third-and-two from Buckeyes’ 8-yard line, Etienne ran right, cut back inside and then willed his way into the end zone with 2:45 to play before he half.

The Tigers then forced a three-and-out, dropping Dobbins for a 2-yard loss.

Clemson needed just five plays to find the end zone again. However, Lawrence found Ross for 16 yards on third-and-10 and after an incomplete pass to Diondre Overton, he took the ball up the middle on a designed quarterback run and then outran the Buckeye defenders to the end zone. It was the longest run of his career and cut the Buckeyes’ lead to 16-14 with 1:10 to play in the half.

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