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No. 2 Clemson Tigers defeat Buckeyes in Fiesta Bowl, look to rematch Alabama in National Championship

When the going gets tough, the Tigers get going. In a stunning turn of events, the No. 2 Tigers pulled off a 31-0 shutout of Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes in Glendale, Arizona. The win gives the Tigers a rematch of last year’s national championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Things didn’t start off so well for quarterback Deshaun Watson as he threw an interception on his first pass attempt. The Clemson defense responded by forcing the Buckeyes to kick the field goal, but Ohio State kicker Tyler Durbin missed the attempt and gave Clemson the ball back on their 30.
Following another missed Buckeye field goal attempt, Watson led the Tigers down the field and scored on a one-yard run to go up 10-0. A couple of drives later, Watson and co. were pinned behind their own 20-yard line, but again, managed to drive all the way down the field for a touchdown. Watson lobbed a pass to CJ Fuller for the 30-yard score. Per ESPN, Clemson had a 96.2 percent chance to win the game going into halftime leading 17-0.
Even with a great first half, the Tigers weren’t interested in stopping there. The defense was more energized after the half, repeatedly pressuring Ohio State quarterback JT Barrett, forcing a couple of interceptions and shutting down the rushing attack altogether. Watson and the first-team offense left the game around the six-minute mark in the fourth quarter to give them a bit of a breather after such a thrilling performance.
The Clemson defense certainly deserves its share in the win as well. Runningbacks Curtis Samuel and Mike Weber were limited to just 91 yards on the ground combined and 64 of those yards came on one breakaway run that Samuel had in the fourth quarter. Carlos Watkins and Clelin Ferrell each registered multiple sacks as well as Watkins picking up two pass deflections.
The Tigers will look to upset Alabama in the College Football National Championship on January 9 in Tampa, Florida.

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