In Ohio State’s history against Clemson, the Buckeyes haven’t had many wins. In fact, they haven’t had any. They are 0-3 all time when they play the Tigers. This weekend in the College Football Playoff, the two teams are set to face off once again. Here’s a quick recap of the three times these teams played each other before.
The first game took place in the 1978 Gator Bowl. This game featured legendary coach Woody Hayes and the 20th ranked Buckeyes, who had the mindset they were going to upset the 8th ranked Tigers. This game is well known for how it ended. Ohio State quarterback, Art Schlichter, was picked off by Clemson nose guard, Charlie Bauman. After he was tackled, he talked some trash at the Ohio State bench, which set off coach Hayes, who proceeded to punch Bauman in the throat/face area. Yes, you read that right, old Woody Hayes punched a guy. The INT ended the Buckeyes last chance drive, and their hopes of winning. They lost 17-15.
36 years later, the two would meet again in the 2014 Orange Bowl. This game was a high scoring game, both teams exchanging blows back and forth. The winner would be decided by who had the better offense, which was the Tigers. Their quarterback, Tajh Boyd, went 31-40, 378 yards, and 5 touchdowns. His main receiver that night was Sammy Watkins. He couldn’t have been stopped by anyone, having 16 receptions, 227 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Ohio State had no answer to stop this duo, and lost 40-35.
Lastly, the 2016 Fiesta Bowl. This one was the hardest to watch as a Buckeye fanatic. The Tiger’s defense absolutely dominated. They held Buckeyes quarterback, JT Barrett, to just 127 yards, no touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. They also forced two fumbles, recovering one of them. The Tiger’s offense, lead by Deshaun Watson, just had to take advantage of this and score, which they did…at least once every quarter. Ohio State was not prepared, and played like garbage, losing to the Tigers for the third straight time, 31-0. Adding insult to injury for the Buckeyes, they were the only team to get shut out in any bowl game that season. This is counting division two and three bowl games as well.
The matchup between these two teams on Saturday night should be a good one. Both of them are evenly matched. Statistically, they are at the top in every possible category you can think of. I’m one of the many people hoping the Buckeyes can end this losing streak. I do think they have a real chance with the dominance of their defense, led by Chase Young and Jeff Okudah. Although, with Justin Fields and his knee injury, and the talent of Trevor Lawrence and Clemson’s defense, I do fear the losing streak could continue for the Buckeyes.