The Ohio State Buckeyes will be rare underdogs in the College Football Playoff when they take on the Clemson Tigers.
It's not hard to understand why. They had their hands full with Northwestern and Indiana, while Clemson easily crushed Notre Dame and have more wins. But ESPN analyst Greg McElroy believes that there is a way for the Buckeyes to spring the upset.
During ESPN’s College Football Playoff Selection Show this past week, McElroy said that if Ohio State wins the ball control game, they can win the game. He believes that keeping Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence off the field is the key to winning.
"I don't like the idea of allowing Trevor Lawrence to have the football for 30, 32 minutes of the game," McElroy said. "I think this is gonna be a situation for Ohio State, for the first time in a long time, they gotta play ball control. And they gotta pound, and pound and pound. And every snap that your offense is on the field, and Trevor Lawrence and that offense is not on the field, that's a positive situation for Ohio State. So that's not something they're usually used to, but it might be something they have to resort to if in fact the game goes the way I think it might."
Ohio State came within a drive of beating Clemson at the Fiesta Bowl last year. But they've now failed to beat Clemson in the College Football Playoff twice.
Perhaps Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day has learned from last year and will be better prepared this time. He's already said that he would be.
Ohio State and Clemson square off in the Sugar Bowl on January 1 at 8:00 p.m. EST and will air on ESPN.