Matchup between Clemson WRs and Ohio State DBs could decide Fiesta Bowl
Dec 30 2016 by Ken Ortega
He plays a little offense, too. Malik Hooker has demonstrated a knack for coming up with interceptions at the proper time, helping the Buckeyes to keep opponents out of the end zone. Last year's total of 96 was more than double the number from a decade ago and included nine Buckeyes.
Tajh Boyd (378 yards passing and 127 rushing) and Sammy Watkins (16 catches for 227 yards) had their way with the Buckeyes, who played cautiously, nearly tentatively, in fear of giving deep throws to Clemson's speedy receivers.
Late in the season, he added punt returner to his resume after Dontre Wilson struggled in that role. Check. Clemson's front seven vs. Ohio State's rushing attack? When I watch the entire season of Ohio State, you don't see that. The linebacker tops the team charts with 87 stops on the season, including a career-high tying 16-tackle performance against MI in the regular season finale.
"He came down to visit and my eyes were wide open because you know he was the coach that I dreamed up watching", Watson said. Junior Artavis Scott is seventh with 5.5 catches each time out, while sophomore Deon Cain (19.4) and senior Jordan Leggett (16.8) are fourth and 10th, respectively, among ACC receivers in yards per catch. He's like a father figure for me and a coach still.
"Just the whole defense are athletes who are great football players who love the game, compete very well, play fast, and do a great job for their team", Watson said. They lost to Alabama in January in one of the best National Championship games in recent memory. The Buckeyes were talented, but that had been a rough year of luck, losing Braxton Miller before Week 1 and then J.T. Barrett prior to the Big Ten title game. The reason Ash was targeted by Meyer and Fickell was because Ash used press quarters at Wisconsin and Arkansas, and the Buckeyes were looking to implement press quarters because of the success Michigan State had with then-defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi using press quarters.
But Samuel turned left again and managed to turn the play into an eight-yard gain, setting up Barrett's one-yard run that left Jim Harbaugh bitterly disappointed. "In this day and age of different styles I'd like to think that when they say 'what is our program, what do your coaches believe, ' it's all about a premium placed on education, a premium placed on toughness and how important it is to have a family-type atmosphere in your program".
ESPN commentator Kirk Herbstreit, who will call the Fiesta Bowl Saturday, said "I'm very comfortable with" Ohio State's inclusion. Ohio State has rotated as many as 10 receivers this year, to the frustration of many fans, as Barrett has found little chemistry with any of his true pass catchers.
In the past two years, 194 college players declared early for the National Football League draft. I know as much about Ohio State as anybody. "I think it will be a factor in the game".
The good times for OSU's offense and its offensive line include 776 yards of offense and 77 points against Bowling Green, 669 yards and 58 points against Rutgers, back-to-back 62-point games against Nebraska and Maryland and scoring 45 at Oklahoma.