The Sugar Bowl College Football Playoff semifinal Friday saw a lot of fireworks early on. The No. 2 (AP and CFP) Clemson Tigers started things off with an eight-play, 82-yard touchdown drive capped with a Trevor Lawrence run, but after an exchange of punts, the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes struck back with a three-play, 77-yard touchdown drive of their own, finished off with a 32-yard rush from Trey Sermon. Both sides would add further touchdowns before the end of the quarter, too; Clemson drove 75 yards on seven plays on their next possession, finishing that drive with a three-yard run from Travis Etienne, but Ohio State then went 75 yards on six plays, with Justin Fields (seen above) throwing an eight-yard pass to Luke Farrell to cap that one. Here are those touchdowns:
Best arm talent in the country… and he'll also outrun your defense. 😉#Trevor4Heisman puts the Tigers on the board first!
That opening drive? 82 yards on 8 plays.
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) January 2, 2021
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) January 2, 2021
Etienne puts the Tigers back on top 👏 pic.twitter.com/FEp8RuRak7
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) January 2, 2021
— ESPN (@espn) January 2, 2021
All in all, the Tigers put up 167 yards in the first quarter (134 through the air), while the Buckeyes had 165 (100 through the air on just four passing attempts by Fields, all completions). We’ll see if these offenses can maintain this pace as the game goes on.
[ESPN, photo from Derick E. Hingle/USA Today Sports]