Three years ago, Clemson defeated Ohio State 31-0 in the Fiesta Bowl en route to a national championship. Many are wondering whether history will repeat itself again this season.
Thursday, ESPN’s Andrea Adelson wrote an interesting article on the rematch that includes quotes from a number of players on both teams. The gist? These aren’t the same two teams that played three years ago.
Adelson asked Clemson senior safety K’Von Wallace about the difference this time around. Wallace said that in 2016, Clemson felt that Ohio State had some weaknesses in a few of their packages that the Tigers were able to exploit.
Wallace thinks Ohio State has more playmakers this year too:
“I feel like they’re a better team overall,” Clemson safety K’Von Wallace< said. “I feel like they’re deep. They don’t have that one person that can just kill you. They’ve got multiple people that can kill you. You’ve got to be ready for everything they do. They don’t have a weakness. I feel like in ’16, they had a little bit of a weakness with some packages they were doing and we exploited it and that’s why we came out 31-0.
“But this year we have to bring it. We’re not looking for no shutout. We’re hoping we can keep it close in the fourth quarter and come out with the win.”
Clemson, three years ago, knocked off Ohio State and then bested Alabama in the national title game. It was the first national title for Clemson since 1981.
Ohio State, meanwhile, has missed out on the playoff since. The Buckeyes won the first ever College Football Playoff back in 2014-2015.
This year’s matchup should be closer than what we saw three years ago. The Tigers are a slight favorite heading into the contest.