Trevor Lawrence connected with Travis Etienne on a 34-yard, go-ahead touchdown with 1:49 left in the fourth quarter, capping a 94-yard march, and the defending national champions beat No. 2 Ohio State 29-23 Saturday night in the Fiesta Bowl.
Ohio State (13-1) proved to be every bit Clemson’s match, though the Buckeyes walked away frustrated by several close officiating calls. Especially two video reviews that could have gone either way and did not go theirs.
“One play can alter the game,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. “It didn’t seem like we got any of those plays.”
The Buckeyes had their 19-game winning streak snapped, losing for the first time under Day.
Buckeyes star J.K. Dobbins ran for 174 yards, including two 60-plus yarders in the first half, but was slowed by a twisted left ankle late in the second quarter.
Justin Fields, who went to high school 20 miles from Lawrence in the northwest suburbs of Atlanta, passed for 320 yards and a touchdown. But he was picked off twice after throwing just one interception in the regular season.
Ohio State had more first downs and nearly 100 more total yards but weren’t able to finish drives. The Bucks had to settle for three field goals in three red zone trips in the first half, leaving a lot of points off the board.