The rivalry between No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Ohio State will heat up this year when they meet at the Sugar Bowl—a College Football Playoff semifinal game—in New Orleans.
Friday's clash marks a rematch between last year's Fiesta Bowl, which the Tigers won 29–23 to advance to the CFP championship game. The Buckeyes will look to avenge the frustrating loss, while Clemson seeks another shot at the national title after falling to LSU in early 2020.
How to Watch:
Time: 8 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ESPN
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney drew plenty of attention ahead of the game by ranking Ohio State at No. 11 on his final Coaches Poll ballot last week. Swinney stood by his decision when asked about it during a press conference on Monday, saying, "I didn't rank anybody that didn't play nine games or more in the top 10."
The Buckeyes (6–0) played only five regular-season games due to three COVID-related cancellations. They went on to beat Northwestern in the Big Ten championship game to capture their fourth straight Big Ten title. Meanwhile, the Tigers (10–1) only missed one contest in the ACC's 11-game regular-season schedule and defeated Notre Dame to win the ACC championship.
Both Clemson and Ohio State finished seventh or better in scoring among FBS teams this season. The Tigers posted an average of 44.9 points per game and the Buckeyes trailed slightly with at 42.5.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence has led Clemson's offense by throwing for 2,753 yards and 22 touchdowns. Buckeyes signal-caller Justin Fields tallied 1,521 passing yards and 15 scores during the shortened season. Both programs also present strong rushing attacks between Clemson's Travis Etienne and Ohio State's Master Teague and Trey Sermon, setting the stage for possibly another close clash like last year's.
The Tigers can advance to their third straight CFP championship game with a win, while a Buckeyes victory would secure their return to the title game since winning the inaugural CFP in 2014.
This year's Sugar Bowl will have a different feel after the city of New Orleans allowed only 3,000 fans to attend the game amid the COVID-19 pandemic.