Tigers shut out Buckeyes, earn second shot at Bama

clemfoot-osu4The Clemson football team has waited for a year for a second shot at Alabama for the national championship. On Saturday, the Tigers earned it.

Clemson turned in perhaps its most impressive performance since last year’s 45-40 loss to the Crimson Tide on this same field in Arizona, shutting out the Buckeyes 31-0 in the Fiesta Bowl to advance to next week’s championship rematch.

Quarterback Deshaun Watson and defensive end Clelin Ferrell earned MVP honors. Watson, the Offensive MVP, was 23-36 passing for 259 yards and a touchdown. The junior also had 57 yards and two scores on 15 carries. Wayne Gallman added 85 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Former Socastee High star Hunter Renfrow came up with several big catches for the Tigers, including a near-touchdown that was ruled out at the 1 and set up the Tigers’ first touchdown of the game.

Ferrell ignited a dominant performance by the Tiger defense, who limited Ohio State to just 215 total yards. Ferrell had three tackles for loss and a sack.

Ohio State missed two field goals in the first quarter, while Greg Huegel connected on a 45-yard field goal in the first quarter. Watson scored on a one-yard rush later in the first quarter, then Watson hit C.J. Fuller on a “wheel route” for a 30-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Clemson closed the scoring with Watson’s seven-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and Gallman’s seven-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

The Tigers advanced to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game against No. 1 Alabama at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on January 9 at 8 p.m.

Photo courtesy of CU Athletics

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