There are not many defenses in college football that have been able to slow down the explosive offense of the Ohio State Buckeyes this season.
Not even the No. 1 defense of the Michigan State Spartans in the Big Ten Championship game did this. They allowed Braxton Miller to rush for 142 yards and two touchdowns, plus 101 yards passing and a touchdown. The Spartans defense was able to keep Carlos Hyde from getting in the end zone, though he did gain 118 yards on them on the ground.
The Ohio State pass defense has been more of a concern for Urban Meyer during bowl preparations since they have struggled in that area all season, and that’s been what everyone has been talking about leading up to the Orange Bowl. However, their offense needs to get some attention too because that will likely be what wins the game for the Buckeyes if their defense continues to struggle.
We all know how good Miller and Hyde are out of that Ohio State backfield. Is the defense of the Clemson Tigers good enough to slow them down?
Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley thinks so, saying that the way Michigan State’s defense played against the Buckeyes in the Big Ten Championship reminded him of Clemson’s defense. Okay, but that doesn’t mean they can slow down both Miller and Hyde. Michigan State couldn’t do it, so what makes Beasley think that Clemson can?
Clemson’s strength is getting in the backfield and getting tackles for loss. They lead the nation in tackles for loss with 9.42 per game. Beasley himself has 12 sacks this season.
I’m still not convinced, mostly because Ohio State has one of the best offensive lines in the country. The senior-heavy offensive line of the Buckeyes has done a great job of protecting Miller and Hyde and creating lanes for them to run, resulting in a rushing game that averaged 317.5 yards per game, which is the third best in college football.
Senior left tackle Jack Mewhort will be facing Beasley, and he knows that he has to slow him down for the Buckeyes to be successful offensively. Mewhort says he’s been preparing for Beasley since he learned who the Buckeyes would be facing in their bowl game. It will be difficult for Clemson to slow down both Miller and Hyde. If the Ohio State offense can continue to do what they’ve been doing all season, then there is no doubt that they will be successful against Clemson’s defense.
It’s the Ohio State defense that everyone’s worried about.