As Clemson’s defense struggled mightily in the second quarter of the Sugar Bowl on Friday night, the Tigers’ offense was unable to get anything going to help their defense out, and the result was 21 answered points by the Buckeyes that propelled them to a 35-14 lead at halftime.
The big deficit proved too much for Clemson to overcome, as Ohio State went on to win, 49-28, in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans and advance to play Alabama in the national championship game on Jan. 11.
After scoring a couple of touchdowns in the first quarter, which ended in a 14-14 tie, Clemson’s offense couldn’t get into a rhythm and was forced to punt on its first three possessions of the second period. Two of those possessions were three-and-outs, and the other lasted just four plays.
The only other time Clemson had the ball in the quarter was with 11 seconds left before halftime, and the quarter ended after a short run by Travis Etienne.
Meanwhile, the Buckeyes scored touchdowns on all three of their drives in the second quarter, outscoring the Tigers 21-0 to take a 21-point lead into the locker room.
Clemson’s offense was on the field for just eight plays in the second quarter, mustering only 34 yards and one first down, while Ohio State moved the chains 13 times and racked up 229 yards of offense, including 106 rushing, in the frame.
The Buckeyes ran 30 plays and dominated time of possession, keeping the ball for 11:50 of the 15 minutes in the quarter.