By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
In this different year of college football Ohio State having played just six games and routed the No. 2 Clemson Tigers 49-28 in the Sugar Bowl in one semi-final of the College Football Playoff.
In weeks leading up to the game Tigers head coach Dabo Sweeney mentioned several times he ranked the Buckeyes “number eleven” in the country due the shortened season they played.
Justin Fields threw six touchdown passes and looked much better than his counter-part Trevor Lawrence. The Buckeyes now (7-0) will face No.1 Alabama for the national title on Jan.11 in Hard Rock Stadium in Florida. The Buckeyes won over the Tide in the 2014 national title game.
In a match-up of two Georgia natives Fields clearly out-dueled Lawrence who is predicted to be the number one pick in the NFL draft.
Fields connected on 22 of 28 passes for 385 yards while setting a Sugar Bowl record for TD passes. He had missed a lot of the game due to a vicious hit to the body by Clemson’s Jake Skalski landing him in the medical tent for several minutes. After review the senior linebacker was was ejected for targeting.
Lawrence connected on 33 of 48 passes for 400 yards and three touchdowns. Clemson (10-2) only other loss came against Notre Dame when Lawrence was out due to COVID protocol. The loss was avenged in the ACC title game.
He finishes his College career with a 34-2 record as a starter.
The Irish still advanced to the play-off but fell to Alabama later the same evening 31-14.
While Fields was out Trey Sermon did a lot of damage rushing for 193 yards on 31 carries a 6.2 average. The 6-2. 220 pounder is a brut of a runner. He rushed for a record 312 yards in the BIG Ten title game earlier a few days earlier.
O-lineman Wyatt Davis of St. Jon Bosco High helped pave the way. He was named first team All-BIG Ten and All-American.
Chris Olave of San Marcos-Mission Hills High caught 6 passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns. He increased his draft status with his play.