TIGERS SEEK REDEMPTION AFTER LAST YEAR’S LOSS …
For the second year in a row, Clemson University’s football team will get a chance to play for the national championship.
Head coach Dabo Swinney‘s Tigers (12-1, 7-1 ACC) drew the No. 2 seed in the four-team College Football Playoff field – and will play No. 3 Ohio State of the Big Ten in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Eve. The winner of that game will play the winner of the other national semi-final contest – which pits No. 1 Alabama of the Southeastern Conference against No. 4 Washington of the PAC-12.
Last year second-ranked Alabama held off No. 1 Clemson to win its fourth national championship in seven years under head coach Nick Saban.
“We look forward to playing on the big stage,” Swinney said. “We are thankful to be selected because there were a lot of teams in contention. We all realize how hard it is to make the playoff and to do it in consecutive years is a great accomplishment.”
Clemson – which has won back-to-back ACC championships – is led by junior quarterback Deshaun Watson. The Heisman Trophy contender has thrown for nearly 4,000 yards with 37 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He’s also run for 529 yards and six scores.
Most impressively, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Gainesville, Georgia native is 30-3 as Clemson’s starting quarterback.
Ohio State (11-1, 8-1 Big Ten) is led by junior quarterback J.T. Barrett, a 6-foot-2, 222-pound junior from Wichita Falls, Texas. Barrett has thrown for 2,428 yards and 24 touchdowns against only five interceptions. He’s added 847 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground.
The Fiesta Bowl semi-final game will kick off at 7:00 p.m. EST on December 31. ESPN will televise the game nationally.
(Banner via Travis Bell Photography)