Ohio St. offensive lineman gives his opinion on Tigers' defensive line

by - Senior Writer -
Ohio St. players are very complimentary of the Tigers heading into the Fiesta Bowl
Ohio St. players are very complimentary of the Tigers heading into the Fiesta Bowl

Two teams with great athletes on both sides of the ball will meet on New Year’s Eve in the College Football Playoff and the Fiesta Bowl.

It’s going to be a battle.

Second-ranked Clemson and third-ranked Ohio St. face off on December 31st in the Fiesta Bowl, with the winner advancing to the National Championship to take on the winner of Alabama and Washington. The Tigers and the Buckeyes are a combined 24-2 on the season, and junior linebacker Chris Worley says he thinks the Tigers are the most talented team his Buckeyes have faced this season.

“Offensively, they probably have the best overall talent of any team we have faced so far,” Worley said earlier this week. “It’s going to be a great matchup for us. We have athletes on defense, and they have athletes on offense…..it’s going to be a battle.”

Worley will have his eyes on Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, who finished second in Heisman Trophy balloting.

“He always has his composure. No matter what happens throughout the game, whether he throws a pick, when he comes back out there he is going to be composed,” Worley said. “He’s going to put his team in the best position to win. One of the things about Clemson and Deshaun, he has great talent around him, so he doesn’t have to do it all by himself.”

Freshman defensive lineman Robert Landers says the Buckeyes won’t see anything new out of Clemson – they’ve seen it all in the rugged Big 10.

“It gets us beyond prepared just for the simple fact that we see a little bit of everything. Going into a game like this, it’s nothing out of the ordinary, it’s nothing that we’re not used to seeing,” Landers said. “We don’t really have to change up schemes and sets too much. It’s not that bad, but the Big Ten has a little bit of everything, so it allows you to be ready for teams later on down the road from different conferences that have a certain skillset that they like to stick to.”

Sophomore linebacker Jerome Baker says he’s excited about playing Clemson because he wants to go against the best the country has to offer.

“I’m excited to play against them. It’ll be a good challenge for us. I love going up against the best in the country,” Baker said. “If you’re a competitor, you should love going up against the best. That’s what drives me.”

Junior offensive lineman Billy Price gave perhaps the biggest compliment of the day to Clemson’s defensive line, saying the Tigers look the way a Clemson defensive line should look.

“They have some big boys up front, they’re all 300-plus across the board. They’re big, athletic, strong, fast; they’re everything a Clemson player is supposed to be,” Price said. “Being able to reload from last season like they did will make it a big challenge for us, but we’re looking forward to it.”

What will Ohio St. have to do against the Clemson defense to be successful?

“Zero fumbles, first and foremost. That’s the biggest expectation for us, turnovers will be key in this game,” Price said. “As far as numbers, we’ll just need whatever it takes to win the game. We just need to hold onto the ball.”

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