We examined both College Football Playoff games using our Situational Analysis and Offensive and Defensive Efficiency Measures.
Ohio State Offense Vs Clemson Defense
Three Keys: Ohio State Offense vs Clemson Defense
Protecting the football- Justin Fields has accounted for 11 total fumbles and, most notably, three vs. Penn State allowing the Nittany Lions to stay in the game late.
Clemson loves to create havoc on defense- Ohio State will need to work hard in pass pro to protect Fields and give him time to throw. Ohio State's downfield pass game needs time to develop. Clemson will look to attack Ohio State's edges and put pressure on Fields. Clemson ranks 2nd Nationally in Defensive Havoc Rate.
Ohio States Run Game- J.K. Dobbins will need to be effective in running the football and in pass protection so that Ohio States slower developing play-action pass-oriented attack has a chance to be effective. Ohio State might have trouble attacking the inside of the Clemson defense and will need to find a way to attack the edges of the Clemson Defense.
Clemson Offense vs Ohio State Defense
Three Keys: Clemson Offense vs Ohio State Defense
Pressuring Lawrence- The Ohio State defense ranks 1st Nationally in Havoc Rate defense. Chase Young will need to be a factor whether he gets to the QB, or draws a double team that opens a one on one match-up for another Buckeye defender in the front seven. Lawrence has been just as effective under pressure as he is when not under pressure in 2019.
Clemson's Run Game: Travis Etienne Ranks 2nd in yds per carry nationally (8.3), Etienne has been the focal point of the undefeated Tiger offense in 2019, racking up 1386 yds on 168 carries and 16 TD’s, while also adding 28 receptions for 289 yds and 2 TDs. Etienne opens up a lot for Lawrence in the RPO, and play action pass game.
3rd Down- Ohio State tied Clemson's defense with 129 third-down stops on defense in the regular season. The key to who wins this game might be as simple as who can win 1st and 2nd down, forcing more predictable third downs situations.