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2017 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, Clemson vs. Ohio State Prediction, Game Preview, History, Scores

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Who’s going to win the 2017 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl? Check out the Clemson vs. Ohio State prediction, game preview, history and scores.


PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, Clemson vs. Ohio State Prediction, Game Preview, History, Scores

Prediction & Game Preview To Come 

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl

Saturday, December 31, 2016
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ, 3:00 or 7:00 ET, ESPN

No. 2 Clemson, ACC, 12-1

It wasn’t always easy, but the Tigers did it. They got back to the College Football Playoff in what turned into a grind. This wasn’t always the most dynamic team, and it wasn’t the most consistent team, but considering it had to replace a slew of defensive starters, and it has the bull’s-eye on its back all season long, going 12-1 with an ACC championship is more than just a nice encore.

– It’ll be interesting to see what the team looks like in a few weeks. Every team is beaten up and tired late in the season, but some teams find a groove – Oklahoma, Alabama, USC – and it gets stronger. Clemson needs the break. The talent is on par with anyone in the country – including Alabama and Ohio State – and it could look like an even more explosive team on both sides of the ball with the time off. In other words, don’t get hung up on the fight with Virginia Tech.

– Deshaun Watson didn’t run as much as he did last year, and he threw 15 picks, but he also managed to 1) stay in one piece and 2) come through time and again when his team needed him the most. Even in the lone loss to Pitt, he threw for 580 yards and three touchdowns. However, he also gave up three picks. Like the team, it wasn’t the smoothest of years, but his team is in the College Football Playoff. Lamar Jackson’s isn’t.

– The Clemson D line lost Vic Beasley and Grady Jarrett, and Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd took over, it lost Lawson and Dodd, and Christian Wilkins, Carlos Watkins and Dexter Lawrence took over. The line might not be quite as devastating behind the line as the last two, but 46 sacks and 112 tackles for loss as a team isn’t too shabby.

No. 3 Ohio State, Big Ten, 11-1

The resume is the best in college football, and the talent, speed and athleticism are undeniable, but the Buckeyes are also coming into the post-season a wee bit average. Michigan State and Michigan showed Ohio State could be powered on, while the offense stalled too much at times – but that’s nitpicking.

- The Buckeyes made up for all their problems with lots and lots of big plays, leading the nation in pass efficiency defense and finishing third in turnover margin. Alabama makes a big deal out of NOTs – non-offensive touchdowns – and the Buckeyes have seven defensive scores. Never, ever hang the ball up in the air against this group.

- QB J.T. Barrett had a brilliant year leading the young team as the tough, veteran leader who made everyone better. When he had to run, he did. When he had to overcome a rocky stretch, he did. On the year, he completed 62% of his passes with 24 scores and five picks, and ran for 847 yards and nine scores. He might not have been explosive, but he didn’t have to be. The O needed him to come through, and he did.

- There’s a little bit of a prove-it factor, even with a resume with road wins over Oklahoma and Wisconsin. The Buckeyes were a two-point conversion away from losing to an awful Michigan State team, and were inches away from losing to Michigan in overtime. There was a two-game stretch beating Nebraska and Maryland 124-6, but four of the last six games were way too tight, including the loss to Penn State.

- Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

Fiesta Bowl History, Results

Jan. 1, 2016 Ohio State 44 Notre Dame 28
Dec. 31, 2014 Boise State 38 Arizona 30
Jan. 3, 2013 Oregon 35 Kansas State 17
Jan. 2, 2012 Oklahoma State 41 Stanford 38 (OT)
Jan. 1, 2011 Oklahoma 48 Connecticut 20
Jan. 4, 2010 Boise State 17 TCU 10
Jan. 5, 2009 Texas 24 Ohio State 21
Jan. 2, 2008 West Virginia 48 Oklahoma 28
Jan. 1, 2007 Boise State 43 Oklahoma 42 (OT)
Jan. 2, 2006 Ohio State 34 Notre Dame 20
Jan. 1, 2005 Utah 35 Pittsburgh 7
Jan. 2, 2004 Ohio State 35 Kansas State 28
Jan. 3, 2003 Ohio State 31 Miami 24
Jan. 1, 2002 Oregon 38 Colorado 16
Jan. 1, 2001 Oregon State 41 Notre Dame 9
Jan. 2, 2000 Nebraska 31 Tennessee 21
Jan. 4, 1999 Tennessee 23 Florida State 16
Dec. 31, 1997 Kansas State 35 Syracuse 18
Jan. 1, 1997 Penn State 38 Texas 15
Jan. 2, 1996 Nebraska 62 Florida 24
Jan. 2, 1995 Colorado 41 Notre Dame 24
Jan. 1, 1994 Arizona 29 Miami 0
Jan. 1, 1993 Syracuse 26 Colorado 22
Jan. 1, 1992 Penn State 42 Tennessee 17
Jan. 1, 1991 Louisville 24 Alabama 7
Jan. 1, 1990 Florida State 41 Nebraska 17
Jan. 2, 1989 Notre Dame 34 West Virginia 21
Jan. 1, 1988 Florida State 31 Nebraska 28
Jan. 2, 1987 Penn State 14 Miami 10
Jan. 1, 1986 Michigan 27 Nebraska 23
Jan. 1, 1985 UCLA 39 Miami 37
Jan. 2, 1984 Ohio State 28 Pittsburgh 23
Jan. 1, 1983 Arizona State 32 Oklahoma 21
Jan. 1, 1982 Penn State 26 USC 10
Dec. 26, 1980 Penn State 31 Ohio State 19
Dec. 25, 1979 Pittsburgh 16 Arizona 10
Dec. 25, 1978 Arkansas 10 UCLA 10
Dec. 25, 1977 Penn State 42 Arizona State 30
Dec. 25, 1976 Oklahoma 41 Wyoming 7
Dec. 26, 1975 Arizona State 17 Nebraska 14
Dec. 28, 1974 Oklahoma State 16 BYU 6
Dec. 21, 1973 Arizona State 28 Pittsburgh 7
Dec. 23, 1972 Arizona State 49 Missouri 35
Dec. 27, 1971 Arizona State 45 Florida State 38

Fiesta