Athlon ranks the bowl games from worst to first
College football'’s regular season is over and the matchups for the 2020-21 bowl season are set. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only 28 matchups are on tap this bowl season, as several games were canceled and 20 teams opted out of a postseason game. In the College Football Playoff, Alabama meets Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl that was moved to Arlington, Texas, with Ohio State and Clemson meeting in the Sugar Bowl. The winner of those two games will square off in Miami on Jan. 11 for the national championship. It's no secret the semifinal playoff games are must-see matchups, but there's also no shortage of quality bowl contests outside of the four-team playoff. The New Year's Six slate features intriguing matchups between North Carolina and Texas A&M in the Orange Bowl, Oregon-Iowa State in the Fiesta Bowl, and Oklahoma-Florida in the Cotton Bowl. Outside of the New Year's Six, the Boca Raton Bowl (UCF-BYU) and Outback Bowl (Ole Miss-Indiana) are two must-see matchups. The bowl season officially kicks off on Dec. 21 with the Myrtle Beach Bowl, followed by two games on Dec. 22.
Watching all 28 bowl games isn't impossible, but it can be difficult prioritizing which matchups are must-see television around the holidays.
Athlon ranks and previews all of the matchups from the must-see to the ones you can avoid. From No. 28 to No. 1, here's a look at the bowl matchups in terms of watchability and quality of game.
Ranking All 28 Bowl Games: Must-Watch to Must-Miss
28. Myrtle Beach Bowl – Appalachian State (8-3) vs. North Texas (4-5)
Dec. 21 – 2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
The bowl season kicks off with the debut of a postseason matchup on Coastal Carolina's teal turf. Appalachian State has been a model of consistency since moving to the FBS ranks, making its sixth consecutive bowl trip and an opportunity to post nine wins or more in the same span. North Texas leads Conference USA with an average of 35.1 points a game, but top receiver Jaelon Darden won't play after opting to begin NFL dDraft training, and quarterback Austin Aune also is out. The Mean Green’s defense surrendered 41.3 points a game in 2020 and will have its hands full against an experienced Appalachian State offense, led by quarterback Zac Thomas and a strong ground attack.
Early Prediction: Appalachian State
27. LendingTree Bowl – WKU (5-6) vs. Georgia State (5-4)
Dec. 26 – 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Georgia State finished 5-4, but coach Shawn Elliott's team was close to something better in 2020. The Panthers lost three of their games by seven points or less, including defeats to Louisiana and Appalachian State. Elliott's squad is led by a high-powered offense (32.9), with quarterback Cornelious "Quad" Brown (21 total touchdowns) leading the way. However, Georgia State's offense will meet some resistance on Dec. 26. WKU is giving up just 24.1 points a game and holds teams to 4.99 yards a snap. Keeping this a low-scoring battle on the scoreboard is crucial for the Hilltoppers, as the offense averages only 18.8 points a game.
Early Prediction: Georgia State
26. New Orleans Bowl – Georgia Southern (7-5) vs. Louisiana Tech (5-4)
Dec. 23 – 3:30 p.m. ET – ESPN
The Eagles were one of the few teams to get all 12 games in this season, and this postseason matchup marks the third consecutive bowl under coach Chad Lunsford. On the other sideline, this trip to the New Orleans Bowl is the eighth straight postseason matchup for Louisiana Tech under coach Skip Holtz. Georgia Southern ranks seventh nationally in rushing offense, and injuries have sidelined key cogs in quarterback Shai Werts, running back J.D. King, and receiver/running back Wesley Kennedy for chunks of the season. It's uncertain if Werts will play after missing the last two games, but Louisiana Tech's rush defense (ninth in C-USA and 34.3 ppg allowed a game) will still be tested. Injuries at quarterback also took a toll on the Bulldogs, as Luke Anthony is out after suffering a season-ending ailment against TCU, leaving Aaron Allen to start on Dec. 22.
Early Prediction: Louisiana Tech
25. Montgomery Bowl – Memphis (7-3) vs. FAU (5-3)
Dec. 23 – 7 p.m. ET – ESPN
The Montgomery Bowl is a new postseason matchup for 2020, and the game landed a couple of programs that have experienced a lot of success in recent years. Led by quarterback Brady White, Memphis brings a high-powered offense (31.6 ppg) to Montgomery, but FAU ranks ninth nationally in scoring defense (16.5 ppg allowed). Additionally, the Owls played in only eight games but limited opponents to eight passing touchdowns. FAU would prefer a low-scoring matchup, especially since its offense is still trying to find its rhythm under new coach Willie Taggart. The Owls averaged only 20 points a game, but the ground game led by running back James Charles and quarterbacks Javion Posey and Nick Tronti will test a Memphis defense that finished third in the AAC versus the run.
Early Prediction: Memphis
24. New Mexico Bowl – Hawaii (4-4) vs. Houston (3-4)
Dec. 24 – 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Dec. 24 is the usual time slot for the Hawaii Bowl, but the Rainbow Warriors aren't playing at home this year. Instead, coach Todd Graham's team and Houston will meet for the New Mexico Bowl in Frisco, Texas. The Cougars were hit hard by COVID-19 cancellations and schedule adjustments, but the on-field product improved in coach Dana Holgorsen's second year. Quarterback Clayton Tune and a deep collection of receivers lead the way for an offense averaging 32.3 points a game. Graham guided Hawaii to a 4-4 mark in his debut in Honolulu, but the program lost three out of its last five to finish .500. Quarterback Chevan Cordeiro (299.6 total yards per game) should allow the Rainbow Warriors to keep pace in a potential high-scoring battle.
Early Prediction: Houston
23. Gasparilla Bowl – UAB (6-3) vs. South Carolina (2-8) (Canceled due to COVID-19)
Dec. 26 – Noon ET, ABC
The Gasparilla Bowl should be a low-scoring slugfest and a feature contest between two talented running backs in UAB's Spencer Brown and South Carolina's Kevin Harris. Brown ran for 889 yards and 10 scores in eight games, while Harris posted 1,138 yards and 15 touchdowns in 10 contests. Neither team was especially prolific in the passing game, so stopping the run and field position will be crucial in a low-scoring game. UAB held teams to 4.7 yards a snap, while the Gamecocks gave up 6.6. Motivation is another factor here. This is South Carolina's first opportunity to impress new coach Shane Beamer (taking over in 2021), and UAB would like nothing more than to beat an SEC team after beating Marshall in the C-USA title game.
Early Prediction: UAB
22. Armed Forces Bowl – Mississippi State (3-7) vs. Tulsa (6-2)
Dec. 31 – Noon ET, ESPN
Tulsa was one of college football's biggest surprises this fall, as coach Philip Montgomery's team finished 6-2 and gave Cincinnati all it could handle in the AAC title game. Montgomery is known for his offensive background, but the Golden Hurricane was led by a stout defense (20.8 ppg) behind linebacker Zaven Collins this fall. This unit will have its hands full in the bowl game against Mississippi State's offense with Mike Leach calling the plays. The Bulldogs finished the regular season on a high note by winning 51-32 over Missouri, with promising youngsters in Will Rogers (QB) and Jaden Walley (WR) developing nicely late in the year.
Early Prediction: Mississippi State
21. Gator Bowl – Kentucky (4-6) vs. NC State (8-3)
Jan. 2 – Noon ET, ESPN
NC State was a much-improved team in 2020 after going 4-8 last fall. Coach Dave Doeren's squad improved their win total by four and made statistical gains on both sides of the ball. An all-SEC slate was likely to blame for Kentucky posting its first losing record since 2015 but those losses – Auburn, Ole Miss, Missouri and Georgia, Alabama and Florida – showed how difficult the 2020 slate was for coach Mark Stoops. Despite the challenging slate, Stoops made a significant change by dismissing play-caller Eddie Gran after the offense averaged only 21.7 points a game in 2020. NC State's rush defense gave up 163.5 yards a contest in 2020, and the strength of this Kentucky team rests up front and with its running backs. The Wolfpack were more prolific on offense (31.1 ppg) but struggled to protect (29 sacks allowed) and lost 16 turnovers. Points might be hard to come by in Jacksonville.
Early Prediction: Kentucky
20. Duke's Mayo Bowl – Wake Forest (4-4) vs. Wisconsin (3-3)
Dec. 30 – Noon ET, ESPN
A good offense meets a standout defense. Wake Forest averages 37 points a game behind quarterback Sam Hartman, while Wisconsin can counter with a defense that has allowed just one opponent to eclipse more than 20 points. After scoring over 40 points in each of their first two games, the Badgers posted just 40 over their next four. The bowl practices and time to heal should help this group, especially with ailments hindering running back Jalen Berger and receivers Danny Davis and Kendric Pryor.
Early Prediction: Wisconsin
19. First Responder Bowl – UTSA (7-4) vs. Louisiana (9-1)
Dec. 26 – 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
If you like rushing attacks, then this game is for you. Sophomore Sincere McCormick powers the UTSA offense (1,345 yards), while Louisiana features the one-two punch of Elijah Mitchell (751) and Trey Ragas (660). The Ragin' Cajuns have been better on defense (4.77 per play to 5.6) and have an edge at quarterback with senior Levi Lewis at the controls. New UTSA coach Jeff Traylor was one of the best first-year hires by guiding the Roadrunners to a 7-4 mark, while Louisiana had a strong regular season that featured wins over Iowa State, UAB and Appalachian State.
Early Prediction: Louisiana
18. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Tulane (6-5) vs. Nevada (6-2)
Dec. 22 – 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Two high-scoring offenses with contrasting styles are set to meet on the blue turf in Boise. Behind the right arm of quarterback Carson Strong and receiver Romeo Doubs, Nevada ranked second in the Mountain West by averaging 6.4 yards per snap. Tulane leans heavily on its ground game, which ranks 17th nationally in per-game production (218.9). However, the Wolf Pack's defense has to account for rising star quarterback Michael Pratt, who accounted for 25 total touchdowns in nine games. With Will Hall off to be the head coach at Southern Miss, Willie Fritz named Chip Long as Tulane's new play-caller, and he's slated to make his debut on Dec. 22.
Early Prediction: Tulane
17. Liberty Bowl – West Virginia (5-4) vs. Army (9-2)
Dec. 31 – 4 p.m. ET, ESPN
Close games and the Liberty Bowl seem to go hand-in-hand recently. The last four meetings in this bowl have been decided by eight points or less. And as if the on-field drama wasn't enough recently, this matchup has already changed from its original Tennessee-West Virginia showdown. Due to COVID-19, the Volunteers are out, and Army is in. The Black Knights were left out of the bowl slate due to not enough teams available for matchups. Coach Jeff Monken's program is more than deserving of a postseason spot, and the revamped Liberty Bowl matchup should be a good battle. As always, Army is strong with its ground attack, but West Virginia's defense allowed only 3.6 yards per carry in 2020. The Mountaineers took a big step forward in coach Neal Brown's second year and are aiming for their first bowl victory since 2015. Both teams averaged under 30 points a game, and with points (and possessions) expected to be at a premium, the better defense (Mountaineers) is likely to be the deciding factor.
Early Prediction: West Virginia
16. Texas Bowl – Arkansas (3-7) vs. TCU (6-4)
Dec. 31 – 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Quality games have been the standard for the Texas Bowl in recent years. Three out of the last four matchups in this game were decided by a touchdown or less. It's a good bet that this trend could continue on Dec. 31. A bowl win over TCU would be a good way for Arkansas to cap a season of improvement under new coach Sam Pittman. The Razorbacks did not win an SEC game from 2018-19 but posted three under Pittman and lost three others by three points or less. Quarterback Feleipe Franks, running back Trelon Smith, and receiver Treylon Burks is a potent trio for coordinator Kendal Briles to push a TCU defense that held teams to 24.2 points a game. The Horned Frogs overcame a 1-3 start to win five out of their last six games. The battle between Arkansas coordinator Barry Odom and TCU quarterback Max Duggan and a group of talented playmakers should be good back-and-forth on New Year's Eve.
Early Prediction: TCU
15. Music City Bowl – Iowa (6-2) vs. Missouri (5-5)
Dec. 30 – 4 p.m. ET, ESPN
Less than 300 miles separate the two campuses, but Missouri and Iowa have played just one time since 1911. In addition to the geographic intrigue, both of these teams seemed to get better late in the year. The Tigers did lose their last two matchups (Georgia and Mississippi State), but coach Eli Drinkwitz's team reeled off five wins in six games after an 0-2 start. Missouri has plenty of offensive firepower with running backs Larry Rountree III and Tyler Badie and quarterback Connor Bazelak at the controls. However, offensive tackle Larry Borom is off to the NFL, adding to concerns versus an Iowa front that registered 22 sacks and did not allow an opponent to score more than 24 points in 2020. The Hawkeyes – especially the passing game – are a work in progress on offense, but the ground game led by Tyler Goodson should find plenty of running room against Missouri's rush defense (seventh in the SEC).
Early Prediction: Iowa
14. Alamo Bowl – Texas (6-3) vs. Colorado (4-1)
Dec. 29 – 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Old Big 12 rivals Texas and Colorado renew acquaintances for the first time since the Buffaloes departed for the Pac-12 in 2009. The Buffaloes were the Pac-12's biggest surprise at 4-1 under new coach Karl Dorrell. The outlook is a little different at Texas. Coach Tom Herman was on the hot seat at the end of 2020 but will return in '21. The Longhorns have a chance to end the year on a high note here, and this could be the last time quarterback Sam Ehlinger wears the burnt orange in Austin. Colorado's offense revolves around running back Jarek Broussard (813 yards) but Texas will counter with a rush defense allowing only 3.6 yards per carry.
Early Prediction: Texas
13. Camellia Bowl – Marshall (7-2) vs. Buffalo (5-1)
Dec. 25 – 2:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
A rare sight in college football in recent years: A bowl game on Christmas Day! And if you are looking for a good reason to get those presents unwrapped early, this game should be enough. Buffalo lost the MAC Championship Game to Ball State, but coach Lance Leipold's team was one of the top Group of 5 teams in college football behind a power rushing attack and running back Jaret Patterson (1,072 yards). Buffalo also boasts a solid defense (23.8 ppg), and quarterback Kyle Vantrease enters the bowl season connecting on 63 percent of his throws. Similar to Buffalo, Marshall brings a strong defense (12.6 ppg allowed) and a standout running back (Brenden Knox) to Montgomery. Redshirt freshman quarterback Grant Wells threw for 1,977 yards and 18 touchdowns this fall but will look to rebound after losses to Rice and UAB. Also of note: Each of the eight previous Camellia Bowls was decided by eight points or less.
Early Prediction: Buffalo
12. Citrus Bowl – Northwestern (6-2) vs. Auburn (6-4)
Jan. 1 – 1 p.m. ET, ABC
The Citrus Bowl is one of the top postseason games outside of the New Year's Six, and this year's pairing features two teams that haven't appeared in Orlando in a long time. Northwestern won the Big Ten West on the strength of its defense and will arrive in Orlando for the first time since 1997 after giving Ohio State all it could handle in the conference title game. Auburn hasn't played in the Citrus Bowl since 2006 and is 3-2 in six all-time trips here. Coach Gus Malzahn was fired at the end of the regular season, and defensive coordinator Kevin Steele will work as the interim coach for the bowl. The speed and athleticism of Auburn's defense will be a challenge for Northwestern's timely offense, but the Tigers also have to get more production out of their quarterback Bo Nix to leave Orlando with some hardware.
Early Prediction: Northwestern
11. Arizona Bowl – San Jose State (7-0) vs. Ball State (6-1)
Dec. 31 – Noon ET, CBS
Two of the nation's best storylines meet in Tucson. Ball State captured its first MAC title since 1996 with a huge upset over Buffalo. San Jose State finished 7-0 and won its first conference title since 1990 by knocking off Boise State in the Mountain West title game. In addition to the feel-good storylines here, both teams have no problem lighting up the scoreboard. Transfer quarterback Nick Starkel and receivers Bailey Gaither and Tre Walker helped the Spartans average over 30 points a game, while the defense held teams to just 17.9 points per contest. Senior quarterback Drew Plitt (1,947 yards and 16 TDs) is the catalyst for Ball State's offense, and just like Starkel, there’s no shortage of talent on the outside to throw to.
Early Prediction: San Jose State
10. Cheez-It Bowl – Oklahoma State (7-3) vs. Miami (8-2)
Dec. 29 – 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
A bowl between two top-25 teams and offenses with plenty of firepower should provide plenty of entertainment value on Dec. 29. Injuries along the offensive line slowed Oklahoma State's attack at times, but this group closed out the regular season by posting 50 points against Texas Tech and 42 against Baylor. Miami's defense wants to get back on track after struggling against North Carolina, and coordinator Blake Baker will have to scheme without standout ends Quincy Roche and Jaelan Phillips after both announced their intentions to enter the NFL draft. The arrival of coordinator Rhett Lashlee and Houston transfer D'Eriq King at quarterback helped Miami's offense take a big step forward this fall. The Cowboys were quietly third in the Big 12 in fewest yards per play allowed (5.2) but seeing how coordinator Jim Knowles plans for King and the speedy playmakers should make for a fun battle in Orlando.
Early Prediction: Miami
9. Boca Raton Bowl – BYU (10-1) vs. UCF (6-3)
Dec. 22 – 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Get ready for fireworks in Boca Raton. BYU and UCF both averaged 40 points a game in the regular season and feature two of the nation's top quarterbacks in Zach Wilson and Dillon Gabriel. The Knights won’t have go-to receiver Marlon Williams (71 catches), but Gabriel will still have plenty of weapons at his disposal. Contending with UCF's speed is a good test for BYU's defense, which has held teams to 4.83 yards a snap in 2020. Offensively, Wilson and the Cougars' standout (and physical) line is a tough matchup for a UCF defense that allowed nearly six yards a snap (5.91).
Early Prediction: BYU
8. Outback Bowl – Indiana (6-1) vs. Ole Miss (4-5)
Jan. 2 – 12:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Indiana just missed out on a New Year's Six Bowl game, but you can bet coach Tom Allen's team will be ready for this one – especially after losing last year's heartbreaker in the Gator Bowl to Tennessee. This game is also a reunion of sorts for Allen. He previously coached in Oxford from 2012-14 and deserves national coach of the year consideration for getting the Hoosiers to 6-1. Despite losing quarterback Michael Penix Jr. to a season-ending injury, Indiana's offense is in good hands with Jack Tuttle, and there's no shortage of talent at receiver to test an Ole Miss defense that allowed 40.3 points a game in 2020. Stopping opposing teams has been an issue all year for the Rebels, but coach Lane Kiffin's team can also match score-for-score. Receiver Elijah Moore and tight end Kenny Yeboah opted to prepare for the NFL, but quarterback Matt Corral, running back Jerrion Ealy and receiver Braylon Sanders is more than enough firepower to test Indiana's defense (19.4 ppg allowed in 2020).
Early Prediction: Indiana
7. Cure Bowl – Liberty (9-1) vs. Coastal Carolina (11-0)
Dec. 26 – 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
These two teams were originally scheduled to meet on Dec. 5 in Conway, S.C., but COVID-19 concerns with Liberty forced Coastal Carolina to schedule BYU. Despite the later date and change in venue, this game has the potential to be one of the better postseason matchups. The Flames average 38.3 points a game behind quarterback Malik Willis, while the Chanticleers recorded 37.5 a contest. Redshirt freshman Grayson McCall leads the Sun Belt with 264.3 total yards a game, while coach Jamey Chadwell can stress Liberty's defense with playmakers like Jaivon Heiligh, Isaiah Likely, and running back CJ Marable.
Early Prediction: Coastal Carolina
6. Peach Bowl – Cincinnati (9-0) vs. Georgia (7-2)
Jan. 1 – Noon ET, ESPN
Motivation is always an issue in bowl games, but these two teams shouldn’t lack for it on Jan. 1. Cincinnati can play the disrespect card after finishing unbeaten and a champion of the AAC at No. 8 in the CFB Playoff rankings. Georgia lost to Alabama and Florida but gained steam after a change at quarterback to JT Daniels in late November. Daniels and his Bulldog teammates are averaging 33.2 points a game and a strong showing here would only build the momentum for 2021. However, Cincinnati's defense is one of the toughest in college football, limiting teams to 4.3 yards per play this fall. The Bearcats aren't only about defense though. Quarterback Desmond Ridder pilots an offense averaging 39.3 points per game in 2020.
Early Prediction: Georgia
5. Fiesta Bowl – Oregon (4-2) vs. Iowa State (8-3)
Jan. 2 – 4 p.m. ET, ESPN
Oregon is making its second trip in a row to a New Year's Six Bowl game, but this is arguably the biggest postseason game in Iowa State's history. The program continues to reach new heights under coach Matt Campbell and just missed on a Big 12 title with a 27-21 defeat against Oklahoma. With the abbreviated Pac-12 slate, it's tough to get a read on the Ducks. While the offense can be prolific, this group has struggled with turnovers and only threw for 108 yards in the win over USC. The Cyclones won't give up much on defense (5.3 per play). Running back Breece Hall (1,436 yards) and quarterback Brock Purdy are a tough matchup for an Oregon defense giving up 27.3 points a game.
Early Prediction: Iowa State
4. Orange Bowl – Texas A&M (8-1) vs. North Carolina (8-3)
Jan. 2 – 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Missing out on the CFB Playoff was a big disappointment for Texas A&M, but a chance to finish 9-1 with a victory in the Orange Bowl is still a big deal for coach Jimbo Fisher's team. Although North Carolina isn't quite in the playoff contender tier, this program has made significant strides in just two years under coach Mack Brown. The matchup between Texas A&M's standout defense (21.1 ppg allowed) and North Carolina's high-powered offense should be one of the best of the bowl season. Quarterback Sam Howell boasts a strong collection of talent at the skill positions, but the Aggies' defensive front can cause plenty of havoc. The Tar Heels have had issues against the run this fall, and the strength of Texas A&M's offense rests in the trenches and with running backs Isaiah Spiller and Ainias Smith.
Early Prediction: Texas A&M
3. Cotton Bowl – Florida (8-3) vs. Oklahoma (8-2)
Dec. 30 – 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Florida ended its regular season by giving Alabama all it could handle in the SEC Championship Game, but with tight end Kyle Pitts and others potentially opting out, it's hard to know what to expect out of coach Dan Mullen's team in this one. Even with Pitts out of the picture, quarterback Kyle Trask has weapons at his disposal, including Jacob Copeland, Kadarius Toney, Justin Shorter, Trevon Grimes, and running backs Malik Davis and Dameon Pierce to match the Sooners' high-powered attack. Quarterback Spencer Rattler had a strong freshman season and can close out 2020 in a favorable matchup versus a Florida defense allowing nearly 30 points a game. Oklahoma has been known for its offense under coach Lincoln Riley, but its defense has quietly thrived this fall. The Sooners are allowing only 5.1 yards per play and none of the last six opponents faced have eclipsed 30 points.
Early Prediction: Oklahoma
2. CFP Semifinal in Arlington – Alabama (11-0) vs. Notre Dame (10-1)
Jan. 1 – 4 p.m. ET, ESPN
This matchup of two of the best brands in college football is technically taking place in the "Rose Bowl," but the game was moved to Arlington due to COVID-19 concerns in Southern California. Alabama completed one of the best single-season runs through the SEC with a 52-46 win over Florida in the conference title game. The Crimson Tide may not have an elite, shutdown defense, but the offense is the best in college football behind quarterback Mac Jones, running back Najee Harris and receiver DeVonta Smith. Losing standout center Landon Dickerson is a huge blow to the offensive line, however. Notre Dame's recent track record in big games (BCS title game and CFB Playoff) isn't good, so there's no shortage of motivation for coach Brian Kelly's team. However, pulling off an upset is going to be an uphill battle. Can the offense get back on track after averaging 4.5 yards per play against Clemson? And does the defense have any answers to slow down Alabama?
Early Prediction: Alabama
1. Sugar Bowl – Clemson (10-1) vs. Ohio State (6-0)
Jan. 1 – 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Last year's meeting in the CFB Playoff at the Fiesta Bowl was a thriller that went down to the wire before Clemson intercepted Ohio State in the end zone to hold on to the victory. This one might not provide the same level of late-game intrigue, but there's plenty of reason to believe this will be the better of the two semifinals. As showcased in the ACC Championship Game, a healthy Trevor Lawrence at quarterback makes a big difference for coach Dabo Swinney's team. Lawrence accounted for just over 350 total yards versus the Buckeyes last season and faces an Ohio State secondary vulnerable to big plays. After losing the battle in the trenches against Notre Dame in South Bend, Clemson won it in the ACC title game. Ohio State has to try and contain running back Travis Etienne and get pressure on Lawrence to have a shot at the victory. Also, quarterback Justin Fields has to rebound from a sluggish performance (114 yards) in the Big Ten title game. Getting receiver Chris Olave back from COVID-19 protocols would be a huge boost.
Early Prediction: Clemson
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