Urban Meyer has the Buckeyes ready to contend for another national title
The 2016 Ohio State Buckeyes will arrive in Arizona, ready to show a nation of skeptics and doubters that the Buckeyes are truly worthy of being a participant in the College Football Playoff. Despite not winning The Big Ten, Ohio State was rewarded with the No. 3 seed, facing a No. 2 Clemson team that came so close to winning the title against Alabama last season.
Ever since the playoff field was announced, Ohio State has been told of the many reasons why the Buckeyes cannot advance in the playoffs. "Too young." "Too predictable."
Ohio State is looking to demonstrate the following against Clemson ~ "Too Good."
5 Reasons Why Ohio State Will Win the Fiesta Bowl
1. Ohio State Will Use Play-Action Passing to Keep Clemson's Defense Off-Balance
This falls under the "too predictable" area, but Ohio State's passing game throughout most of the season has been in the short to intermediate areas. Clemson will look to stack the box against Ohio State, shutting down the Buckeyes' running game. A sleeper possibility to emerge against the Tigers is redshirt freshman wide receiver K.J. Hill. While Curtis Samuel is the primary offensive weapon in Ohio State's arsenal, and Noah Brown has garnered a lot of interest based upon his performance against Oklahoma in week three, Hill may be an ideal candidate to stretch the field. Even if the Buckeyes only go deep a few times, this will open up the rest of the field, and then...
2. Ohio State May Play Some "Tressel Ball"
Long derided by college football fans, former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel's plodding and stodgy offensive approach may come into play against Clemson. If Ohio State has established a lead, look for J.T. Barrett and Mike Weber to be content with running the ball, controlling the clock, and maximizing field position.
3. Ohio State Will Capitalize With Opportunistic Defense
Clemson has tremendous speed offensively, and Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson poses a threat as both a runner and passer. Ohio State will counter Clemson's speed at the wide receiver position, playing press man coverage. As tremendous as Deshaun Watson is, Watson has thrown 15 interceptions this season. Malik Hooker has demonstrated a knack for coming up with interceptions at the proper time, helping the Buckeyes to keep opponents out of the end zone.
4. The Fiesta Bowl is a Familiar Venue for Ohio State
Ohio State has made a habit of traveling to the Fiesta Bowl, and this will mark the rare occasion where the Buckeyes will play at University of Phoenix Stadium twice in the same calendar year. Clemson may be looking ahead to an opportunity to playing for the title, giving Ohio State a noticeable advantage in the stadium.
Clemson struggled big time selling tickets for this game. Their school said fans waiting for National Title tickets. Will be 80/20 OSU crowd— jbook™ (@jbook37) December 26, 2016
5. Urban Meyer Can Push The Right Buttons To Realize Victory
Here are a few tidbits regarding Urban Meyer's coaching acumen — Meyer is 21-1 when coming off a bye week. Meyer is 10-2 in bowl games, although the last such loss came against Clemson three years ago. Even though most of the roster are freshmen or redshirt freshmen, there are enough players on the roster, such as senior center Pat Elflein, who were around to use that Orange Bowl loss to Clemson as motivation in this game. A psychology major in college, Meyer will have the Buckeyes ready to pounce upon the Tigers.
— Written by Chip Minnich, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @ChipMinnich.