Ohio State upset Clemson to e book date with Alabama in CFP title recreation | Faculty soccer
Justin Fields threw six touchdown passes to beat Trevor Lawrence, and No 3 Ohio State avenged the painful college football playoff loss to Clemson last season with a 49-28 win in the Sugar Bowl semi-finals on Friday night.
The Buckeyes (7-0) will play for the first time since the first playoff on January 11 at Hard Rock Stadium in South Florida against Alabama No. 1. The state of Ohio defeated the Crimson Tide in the semifinals en route to the 2014 national championship.
“Now we have a chance to win and then you have the chance to write one of the best stories in college football history,” said Ryan Day, Ohio state coach.
In a matchup of Georgia quarterback prodigies, Fields might have given the Jacksonville Jaguars something to think about on what to do with this first choice in the NFL draft. Lawrence is the alleged number 1, but Fields topped him that night, going for 385 yards to 22 for 28. He set a Sugar Bowl record for TD passes and played more than half the game after getting a vicious one Shot to the side, forcing him to miss a game and spend time in the medical tent.
Lawrence was 33 for 48 for 400 yards and three touchdowns in the junior’s expected final college game. His last pass was intercepted, but Clemson (10-2) went 34-2 in his starts and won a national title when he was a freshman.
The third meeting between Clemson and Ohio State in the playoffs, and the fourth bowl matchup since the 2013 season, was a game the Buckeyes had pointed out since they lost 29:23 to Tigers in the Fiesta Bowl last year.
That score has been everywhere the Buckeyes have filmed at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus this year.
A chance for revenge was almost derailed when the Big Ten canceled fall football in August due to the pandemic. A shortened Big Ten season caused more headaches. The Buckeyes had to cancel three games due to Covid-19 issues, including their own outbreak.
The playoff committee still liked the state of Ohio enough to get the Buckeyes into the final four, though various parts of the country, including Clemson, had a lot of influence.
Ohio state coach Ryan Day talked all week about what a remarkable story it would be for the Buckeyes to survive this one season roller coaster and still achieve their goal.
“Everything we’ve been through this year to get out and play the way we played I don’t know what to say about this group,” said Day.
Clemson took the lead 7-0 in the first round and then rose 14-7 with Lawrence and Etienne.
From there it was all Buckeyes. Fields threw touchdown passes to Luke Farrell and Jeremy Ruckert on consecutive trips to give Ohio a 21-14 lead at the start of the second quarter.
Without offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, who hadn’t started the journey in the Covid-19 logs, the Clemson crime couldn’t respond. The Buckeyes kept rolling behind Field, though not without great fear.
Field scrambled to a long and third place and fired a hard shot to the right from Clemson linebacker James Skalski that put the Buckeyes star in a fetal position before rolling onto his back in apparent pain.
The game was checked for a target foul that resulted in Clemson’s top linebacker being thrown out and a first-and-goal for the Buckeyes.
Fields came out for one game and returned to immediately throw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Chris Olave who made it 28-14.
“I took a big shot … but what really kept me going was my brothers and my love for them,” Fields said. “I would do anything for these guys.”
Fields took Ohio State athletic coaches to Clemson’s next possession, which did not last long, the injury tent.
Fields was right back out there on the Buckeyes’ next trip. He took another hit and slowly stood up. He moved cautiously after each game, but with Trey Sermon running hard and the horse chestnuts providing good protection, Fields kept carving the tigers.
He hit Ruckert for a 12 yard score with 11 seconds in half.
A year after taking a 16-0 lead in the first half in the excruciating semi-final defeat to Clemson last year, the Buckeyes gave the Tigers their largest half-time deficit (21) since the Orange Bowl in 2012 against West Virginia (29 points).
The second half started with Clemson, who could see another comeback. Fields was intercepted in the Tigers’ end zone and Lawrence came back with an 80-yard touchdown drive to bring it down to 35-21.
Nervous time for the horse chestnuts? Not for long. Fields tossed Olave a perfectly placed bombshell for a 56-yard touchdown pass that led to 42-21 at 4:55 in the third quarter.
And when there was any doubt, Fields tossed another TD pass to Jameson Williams, which officially went on the books as a 46-yarder but flew over 50 in the air.
No. 4 Notre Dame 14-31 No. 1 Alabama
Alabama rolled into another college football playoff championship game.
DeVonta Smith caught three of the four touchdown passes by Heisman Trophy finalist Mac Jones, Najee Harris ran 125 yards with a high hurdling highlight and the high-ranking Alabama # 4 win of Notre Dame 31-14 at the rescheduled Rose Bowl on Friday, to achieve his fifth CFP title game.
While the location for this Rose Bowl was truly untraditional, the Crimson Tide (12-0, No. 1 CFP), which plays for the national title, is a common occurrence for seven CFP seasons.
“I don’t think there is such a thing as the Rose Bowl, the tradition, the environment, the mountains. It’s just a phenomenal experience … I wish our players had this opportunity, “said coach Nick Saban.
But Saban and the Flood will take another win at the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, whom the coach named one of the best venues in college football, and move on to the playoffs.
Notre Dame (10-2, No. 4 CFP) have lost seven consecutive New Years games for the second time in their last four games since 2000.
Alabama was leading 14-0 after scoring the first two goals, including a 97-yard drive where Harris landed on both feet shortly after crossing the scrimmage line over the 6-foot Nick McCloud corner and then for a 53- sprint. Yard gain before you cross the line.
“I’m actually trying to teach him not to, and it didn’t work,” Saban said with a laugh. “Anyway, it’s pretty amazing for a tall guy that he can do it.”
Jones, who completed 25 of 30 passes for 297 yards, threw a 12-yard TD pass against Jahleel Billingsley the next game.
That touchdown came between rides as Smith, who has 16 touchdown catches in his last seven games, converted short passes into points of 26 and 34 yards. Smith finished the game with seven catches for 130 yards and added a nifty 7-yarder in the front corner of the end zone right on the pylon in the middle of the third quarter.
The Crimson Tide earned a spot in the championship game on January 11 in Miami against Ohio State No. 3. Alabama missed the CFP last year for the only time since making four playoff debuts at the end of the 2014 season.
CFP officials moved the Rose Bowl 1,400 miles because of Covid-19 restrictions in California that would have kept the family – or any fans – from attending the game in their normal Pasadena home. At AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, attendance was capped at 18,373, just slightly higher than attending the Cotton Bowl game played there two days earlier when Oklahoma beat Florida 55:20.
It was another blow to the Fighting Irish, who have won all 10 regular season games including a home win over Clemson. But Notre Dame then lost 34-10 in the ACC title game against the Tigers.
“Today was about doing the pieces. They made them on the edge. Your skill players showed up today as they did all year, ”said Irish coach Brian Kelly. “We fought. I thought we did some of the things we wanted today, but we just didn’t do enough theater. “
Two years ago, Notre Dame lost the Cotton Bowl 30-3 in the CFP semi-finals against Clemson, which was also played by the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. It was the first time the Irish had played against Alabama since the Flood defeated them 42-14 in the BCS national championship game eight seasons ago.
While the Alabama Defense upset quarterback Ian Book, the Tide Offensive rolled out from the start. Book, the Irish most successful QB start of all time at 30: 5, completed 27 of 39 passes for 229 yards and only his third interception this season.
Alabama’s first seven-game, 79-yard drive ended with Smith making his first catch in the left apartment and then sprinting past defenders along the sideline and through the defenders to score a 26-yard score. After the second longest goal ride in Rose Bowl history when Billingsley scored a goal, Alabama drove 84 yards, with Smith making a catch for the 34-yard score on an intersection route.
The next Notre Dame was 14-7 when Kyren Williams dived into a fourth down game from a court at the start of the second quarter to end a 75 yard drive of 15 games that took just over eight minutes took.