Ohio State vs. Clemson: What to watch for in the Fiesta Bowl
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Here's a glimpse at the second College Football Playoff semifinal, which features Ohio State and Clemson clashing in Glendale, Arizona, on Saturday:

Need-to-know info

Time: 8 p.m. ET

Venue: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona


Last meeting: Clemson 31-Ohio State 0 on Dec. 31, 2016 in Glendale (Fiesta Bowl)

All-time series: Clemson leads 3-0

What to watch for

Elite passing defenses vs. elite passing offenses

Ohio State and Clemson are defending the pass better than any team in the nation.

The two defenses are tied for first in yards allowed per pass attempt at 5.3, and opposing offenses combined to throw 32 interceptions and just 15 touchdowns against the Tigers and Buckeyes. Ohio State and Clemson are also the only two teams to hold opponents below 150 passing yards per game.

So the defenses in this game are elite, but both will face challenges unlike any the units have seen this season.

Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence, the two quarterbacks facing off, combined to throw 74 touchdown passes and only nine interceptions this campaign, with the former posting a 40-1 ratio himself. Clemson has scored 40-plus points in eight consecutive games, while Ohio State has passed for 300-plus yards in four of its last five contests.

Will Ohio State ride Dobbins to victory?

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J.K. Dobbins wasn't among Ohio State's Heisman finalists, but he emerged as perhaps the Buckeyes' most important player down the stretch.

The junior enters the Fiesta Bowl after recording 36, 31, and 33 carries in his last three games, which included running for 211 yards and four touchdowns against Michigan. Only Chuba Hubbard and Jonathan Taylor ran for more than Dobbins' 1,829 yards this season.

Clemson's defense will give him a stiff test. The Tigers hold opponents to less than three yards per carry, and they've allowed only eight rushing touchdowns this season.

How does Clemson combat Chase Young?

The best player on the field regardless of position will be Chase Young.

The Ohio State defensive end and Heisman finalist enters the playoff with 21 tackles for a loss and 16.5 sacks in 11 games. He notched four sacks against Wisconsin in October and three against Penn State in November. He's the greatest challenge Clemson's offense faces.

Young will also be featured in potentially this game's best matchup when he squares off against Clemson tackle Jackson Carman, who didn't allow a sack this season, according to Pro Football Focus.

Players to watch

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Ohio State: CB Jeff Okudah (30 tackles, three interceptions)

Most quarterbacks avoid Okudah, who broke up seven passes this season and could be a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft. But on Saturday, one of the best corners in the country will have his hands full.

Clemson: WR Tee Higgins (52 receptions, 1,082 yards, 13 touchdowns)

Opposite Okudah will be Higgins, who's averaging an astronomic 20.8 yards per reception this campaign. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound junior dominated Virginia in the ACC championship game, hauling in nine passes for 182 yards and three scores.

Ohio State vs. Clemson: What to watch for in the Fiesta Bowl
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