Ohio State selected for the College Football Playoff
Will play Clemson in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1 in New Orleans
Ohio State, champion of the Big Ten Conference for the fourth consecutive year and 39th time overall, has been selected for the College Football Playoff and will face Clemson, 10-1 and champion of the ACC, on Jan. 1 in the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
“We’re excited about the opportunity,” said head coach Ryan Day. “It’s been a unique season and having the chance to be in the playoff and play against Clemson is extremely exciting. It will be a quick turnaround; a great challenge and we’re looking forward to it.”
This will be the Buckeyes’ second consecutive playoff appearance and fourth overall. It will also be a re-match of last year’s CFP semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl, which Clemson won 29-23. The Buckeyes and Tigers have met four times previously – all in postseason games – and Clemson has won all four meetings. The Tigers own two wins over the Buckeyes in the College Football Playoff, an Orange Bowl victory at the conclusion of the 2013 season a victory in the 1978 Gator Bowl.
Ohio State has a 24-26 all-time record in bowl games and has played in the Sugar Bowl four times previously. The last time the Buckeyes played in New Orleans, it was also a College Football Playoff Semifinal – on Jan. 1, 2015, they topped No. 1 Alabama, 42-35, and went on to win the first-ever CFP National Championship. Ohio State is 2-2 all-time in Sugar Bowl games.
The winner of this year’s Sugar Bowl will advance to the College Football Playoff Championship, scheduled for Monday, January 11, in South Florida.
The Buckeyes won the Big Ten title and improved to 6-0 yesterday thanks to a record-breaking performance on the ground from Trey Sermon, whose 331 yards rushing broke Eddie George’s single-game record of 314 yards set previously in 1995. Ohio State possesses the nation’s No. 6-ranked total offense (529.2 yards/game), the No. 5 rushing offense (275.6 yards/game) and No. 8 scoring offense (42.5 points/game). Ohio State is the only team in the country averaging better than 250 yards per game both rushing and passing.
“The journey that we've gone on as a program, you can't even make it up,” said Day. “But all that being said, here we are where we wanted to get to all along. Now we’ll prepare as hard as we can because that’s what it will take to play this team.”
Due to the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of New Orleans has approved 3,000 fans for the game. With the restrictions on fan attendance and the Bowl’s contractual obligations, this year’s Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl is sold out.