Playoff Games Thoughts
LSU and Joe Burrow could be both a team on a mission and a team of destiny. They were merely toying with Oklahoma. Burrow would come to the LOS, identify the matchup he wanted and deliver the ball to that player. Pitch and catch, simple as that.
The LSU coaches said that OU was the fifth best team they played (after yesterday that was kind) behind Bama, Auburn, Georgia and Florida. That turned out to be correct. Everyone wants to spread out the playoff to conference champions, but the top 7 teams are Clemson, Ohio St and the top 5 from the SEC. If there was an eight team playoff I would give the final slot to either Penn St, Wisconsin or Oregon. However, everyone would be howling the unfairness of that.
OU is 0-4 in the playoff and has only been competitive in one game. I am mystified that a program with that tradition and support cannot field a defense, particularly when Texas has struggled knowing that OU filled its roster with Texas prospects in their heyday. Lincoln Riley may see that this could be his ceiling in Norman and head to the NFL. The Cowboys may not be the answer but another destination may be. We will see how patient Riley is given he is making $6 million annually now.
Ohio State both gave that game away or got robbed, maybe both. The targeting call (50/50 to me) and roughing the punter were like turnovers, and we all know turnovers lose games. Just as in baseball, when you make an error a good team will always score. As for robbery, that was a catch, fumble and TD return no question. Clemson is just too good to give extra chances.
That was a very physical game in which Clemson was surprised and took some time to adjust. The Tigers look beat up and should be thankful that they have two weeks until the next game. Ryan Day had a good offensive plan and had Clemson DC Brent Venables confused, but Venables made the adjustments in the 2nd half. As for Day, is he the next Meyer (without the baggage) or the next Larry Coker (winning big with great talent but unable to keep it going long term)?
Finally, despite Clemson getting the breaks, they were good enough to take advantage of them. They held OSU to FGs in the 1st half to overcome being down 16 points. Then with the game on the line, Trevor Lawrence takes them 94 yards in four plays. The defense then makes a stand to stop OSU. When you do that you have earned the win. Who knew Trevor Lawrence could run and Travis Etienne was a receiver.
I cannot wait for the Title Game.
Excellent post, and really agree with all of the points made re: the Ohio State game
*The targeting call was 50/50. I guess by the letter of the law, their helmets hit, so that's targeting. But when the defender is in the tackling position and the ball carrier ducks down to brace for impact in the last second, how does the defender avoid the impact? I think there needs to be a better system, one is a 15 yard penalty, the other is ejection, based on the severity and intention.
*The overturned fumble recover / TD was ridiculous. There was NO definitive evidence to overturn the ruling on the field.
*The call to go for the punt block was too aggressive, as they would have had the ball at midfield.
*Day put together a great game plan and outcoached the Clemson staff. I wish he would've stuck with the up tempo offense a bit more. He's a great recruiter also, I think OSU is in great hands for the future.
*All that being said, if Ohio State defense stops the final drive, they win. If the receiver runs the right route at the end, they get a TD and win. As a Buckeye fan that overturned fumble TD hurts, but they put themselves in position to win the game and didn't do it.
Great season, next year looks like they're playoff bound again.
Also, I have a new found distaste for Dabo, I hope they get worked by LSU in the championship.