Clemson, Trevor Lawrence downs Ohio State in Fiesta Bowl

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Ohio State falls to Clemson in Fiesta Bowl; 29-23

Ohio State's dreams of a flawless season ended with a four-play, 94-yard touchdown drive by Clemson that sent the Tigers on to play for their third national championship in four years after beating OSU 29-23 in a College Football Playoff semifinal in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday night.

The prime time game did not leave college football fans disappointed.

A few plays later, Travis Etienne fought off a tackler with a stiff arm and scored from eight yards out for Clemson to make it 16-7 with 2:45 left in the second quarter. Ohio State receiver Chris Olave had broken off his route and left Fields throwing to no one.

Ohio State (13-1) jumped out to a 16-0 lead, but Swinney never allowed Clemson (14-0) to panic.

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On Haubeil's first field goal, Ohio State drove 71 yards but couldn't put the ball into the end zone. It was a by-the-books call, though it was clear Wade didn't have head-hunting intent: He simply hit Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence head-to-head, partly because the latter ducked into the hit at the last second.

"I think when we look back on it, it is going to be overwhelming", Day said.

If you believe in momentum, then a switch in the Ohio State-Clemson game was flipped when Buckeye cornerback Shaun Wade was ejected for targeting late in the first half.

"We had a lot of good looks on it", Williamson said.

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The Tigers (14-0) will play No. 1 LSU on January 13 in New Orleans, looking for their third national title in the last four seasons. Running back J.K. Dobbins cemented his legacy as one of the best running backs in OSU history, being the school's second all-time leading rusher and the only Buckeye back to run for 2,000 yards in a season. The Buckeyes' offense managed 70 yards in the third quarter, but there were more controversial calls that got in the way.

It was no secret to Meyer, who won two national championships at Florida and one at Ohio State, that the Buckeyes needed to continue to evolve into a team that might play in the Big Ten Conference but more resemble a Southern program in the way it was built. Ohio State came up short but it definitely wasn't due to a lack of talent on their roster.

In the third quarter, with Clemson up 21-16, the Buckeyes appeared to score a touchdown after Clemson receiver Justyn Ross was stripped of the ball by Ohio State All-American Jeff Okudah and the fumble was returned to the end zone by Jordan Fuller.

Quarterback Joe Burrow #9 of the LSU Tigers post the "LSU" sticker on the oversized bracket to indicate advancing to the National Championship in New Orleans after winning the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl 28-63 over the Oklahoma Sooners at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 28, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.

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