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Ohio State QB Justin Fields' Not Impressed With Record Numbers

Sophomore transfer leads Buckeyes into Fiesta Bowl against Clemson

Justin Fields knows the numbers well, but either his commitment to humility or his genuine flat-line personality prevent him from a reaction like everyone else when they see his statistics.

Fields enters the Fiesta Bowl Saturday against Clemson for a berth in the College Football Playoff national championship game with 40 touchdown passes and one interception.

That is such a ridiculously-outrageous ratio that he could throw zero touchdowns and three interceptions against Clemson and still emerge with the NCAA Division I single-season record of highest touchdown-to-interception ratio.

"Yeah," Fields said, shaking his head in near disgust. "That's definitely not happening."

Anyone with a light hold on reality would have told you in August that Fields, nor any quarterback, could compile such numbers.

Well, perhaps with one exception.

"If you'd have told me I could throw for 40 touchdowns and one interception, I'd have believed it was possible," Fields said.

So it's not like the Georgia transfer, now an OSU sophomore, lacks for confidence.

Nor, his plays has proven, anything else.

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You want arm strength, Fields has it, routinely stretching Big Ten defenses with downfield strikes to Chris Olave.

You want balls into tight windows, Fields can do that to, as he showed on a 30-yard dart to Binjamin Victor in this highlight reel from Fields' six-touchdown second quarter against Miami of Ohio.

 You want touch down near the goal line? Fields has dropped repeated balls into his receiver's hands over defenders and zipped back-shoulder fades into the only space coverage allowed.

It's all added up to a season that will likely supplant Case Keenum's NCAA record TD-to-interception ratio of 9.6 (48 TDs, 5 interceptions).

"That's a credit to my coaches, my teammate and my O-line ," Fields said. "Really, all those guys. I attribute it to them. I’m just a piece of the puzzle. It’s really on them."

Of course, it isn't solely the work of others, as would probably be proven had Fields not been able to return from a sprained knee in Michigan game to throw a 31-yard touchdown on his first play back or to lead an OSU comeback from 21-7 at halftime to a 34-21 win in the Big Ten title game against Wisconsin.

OSU hopes it can get through the Clemson game with Fields still nursing vestiges of that injury.

He said Tuesday his left knee has not responded to treatment as he'd hoped and that it's operating at "80-to-85%" efficiency.