Jets hire 49ers DC Robert Saleh as head coach


Justin Fields threw for 385 yards and six touchdowns as third-ranked Ohio State crushed second-ranked Clemson 49-28 on Friday in a College Football Playoff semifinal game at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

The Buckeyes (7-0) will play No. 1 Alabama in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Jan. 11 with a chance for their first national championship since the 2014-15 season.

“So many people doubted us coming into this game and these guys stuck together,” Buckeyes coach Ryan Day said. “They wanted a chance to play, and who would imagine the journey when it came all the way here to play Clemson again in the same game and to play the way we did. ...

“Now we get the opportunity to go win the whole thing and maybe write one of the best stories ever in college football history.”

Fields completed 22 of 28 passes with one interception and ran eight times for 42 yards to lead the Buckeyes, who amassed 639 total yards. Trey Sermon ran 31 times for 193 yards and Chris Olave made six catches for 132 yards and two TDs for the Buckeyes.

Ohio State reeled off 28 unanswered points to take a 35-14 halftime lead behind Fields’ exploits, and the Buckeyes successfully avenged a 29-23 loss to the Tigers in last year’s semifinals.

“It really fueled our whole season,” Fields said of that defeat. “That loss really pushed us in the offseason. Even more so, we were just glad to get this opportunity back to be able to play these guys again.”

In the first half, Fields was 16 of 18 for 223 yards and four touchdowns and ran seven times for 50 yards to help the Buckeyes overcome 7-0 and 14-7 deficits.

“They absolutely dominated the line of scrimmage,” Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said. “You can’t win games like this if you can’t stop the run, and then the big plays.”

Trevor Lawrence was 33 of 48 for 400 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for Clemson (10-2). The Tigers managed just 44 yards on 22 carries.

Fields tossed an 8-yard pass to Luke Farrell, the senior tight end’s first career TD catch, to make it 14-14 late in the first quarter. Fields then hit Jeremy Ruckert on a 17-yard scoring play for a 21-14 lead at 10:35 of the second quarter and connected with Olave for a 9-yard touchdown to make it 28-14.

On the latter drive, Clemson linebacker James Skalski was ejected for targeting for his hit on Fields. The Ohio State quarterback left the game for one play before returning to throw his third TD pass. The fourth came with 11 seconds left in the half, 12 yards to Ruckert.

After Clemson pulled within 35-21 on a Cornell Powell TD reception early in the third quarter, Fields threw scoring strikes of 56 yards to Olave and 45 to Jameson Williams to make it a 28-point game a minute into the fourth quarter.

“Obviously, not our night,” Swinney said. “Incredibly disappointed with how we played.”

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.