Are the Buckeyes better or worse than last year?

Are the Buckeyes better or worse than last year?

Football

Are the Buckeyes better or worse than last year?

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Once again Clemson and Ohio State will meet in the College Football Playoff. It will mark the third time the ACC and Big Ten Champions have met in the semifinals.

The Tigers are 4-0 all-time against the Buckeyes, including last year’s come-from-behind 29-23 victory in the Fiesta Bowl. They also beat Oho State, 31-0, in the 2017 Fiesta Bowl.

This time the two will play in the Sugar Bowl at the Superdome in New Orleans.

What do we know about Ohio State?

The Buckeyes are 6-0, the fewest number of games played by any of the semifinal teams. Clemson, Notre Dame and Alabama have all played 11 games.

Ohio State won the Big Ten by beating Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship Game. The Buckeyes got into the title game thanks to a few strings being pulled by the conference to change its initial rules concerning the COVID-19 protocols.

Ohio State is led by its offense. They lead the Big Ten in points, rushing yards, and total yards. The Buckeyes are averaging 42.5 points, 275.7 rushing yards and 529.2 total yards per game.

The passing game is fifth, at a modest 253.5 yards. OSU also leads the conference in third down conversions, converting on 51.3 of their opportunities.

Quarterback Justin Fields is completing 72.6 percent of his passes for 1,521 yards, 15 touchdowns and five interceptions. He has 174.5 efficiency rating and is averaging 9.3 yards per attempt.

Running back Trey Sermon leads the Buckeyes on the ground. He leads the Big Ten with a 112.5 yards per game average. However, 331 of his 675 yards came against Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship Game.

Ohio State will likely get the services of Chris Olave back after he missed the Northwestern game due to COVID. Olave is second on the team with 36 catches for 528 yards and five touchdowns, while averaging 14.7 yards per catch.

Garrett Wilson leads the team with 38 catches for 621 yards and five touchdowns. He is averaging 16.3 yards per catch. No one after Wilson and Olave has caught more than nine passes for the Buckeyes.

On the offensive line, they are helping the running backs and Fields average 6.2 yards per rush, but Fields has been sacked 18 times already this season, which ranks 12 in the Big Ten. They have also allowed 41 tackles behind the line of scrimmage in six games.

On defense, the Buckeyes are yielding 21 points and 358.0 yards per game. The good news for Ohio State is it is allowing just 96.7 yards per game on the ground.

But they are struggling to get to the quarterback, as they have just 17 sacks in six games. That is allowing them to give up 261.3 yards per game through the air, which ranks last in the Big Ten.

Indiana, the only true passing team the Buckeyes have faced this year, threw for 491 yards and five touchdowns against them. Ohio State has allowed nine touchdown passes and has just six interceptions.

Getting off the field has been an issue too, as they have allowed opponents to convert on 36 percent of their third downs.

It is time to get ready for another great Clemson Christmas. The best collection of Clemson ornaments and other fine gifts are available at Clemson Variety & Frame

 

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