Dennis Dodd Picks Fiesta Bowl Winner

No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Clemson will square off in the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 28

Reiter Than You
December 10, 2019 - 9:02 am
JK Dobbins Ohio State Big Ten Championship

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No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Clemson will square off in the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 28 in what could be the best bowl game of 2019.

“Ohio State, Clemson are sort of mirror images of each other,” CBS Sports college football writer Dennis Dodd said on Reiter Than You. “Clemson keeps fighting that perception that the ACC was down and they’re not as good as they are. There’s a reason they’re favored in this game – even by two, two-and-a-half. It’s basically a push, but they’ve gotten better as the year went on.”

There’s no denying that. After surviving a scare at North Carolina in September, the Tigers won their final eight games by an average of 42.1 points.

“There was a point in September when Trevor Lawrence led the ACC in interceptions,” Dodd said, “and then in the last half of the season, six games, no interceptions, 20 touchdowns, three touchdowns passing at least in all of those games. He’s been tremendous.”

Ohio State, meanwhile, has a few playmakers of its own.

“Ohio State, to me, is still the most complete team in the country,” Dodd said. “How does that match up against Clemson? You’ve got Justin Fields, who has had maybe the most efficient statistically season in history. I can’t remember any quarterback who’s thrown 40 touchdown passes and one interception: a 40:1 ratio. They’re a power running team at their base. J.K. Dobbins has carried the ball 100 times in the last three games. That’s how they are going to win. They want to drain the time off the clock, limit possessions – and even with that, they’re the No. 1 scoring offense in the country.”

Defensively, Dodd called Chase Young the best defender in America and Jeffrey Okudah the best cover corner in the country.

Still while Dodd believes the Fiesta Bowl will be a classic, he ultimately expects Clemson to beat Ohio State – and LSU.

“If they win out and win their final two games, there will be nine schools in the 150-year history of college football that have longer winning streaks. Nine,” Dodd said in disbelief. “Clemson is not getting proper respect. I like Clemson to win out – close obviously to Ohio State and close against LSU. What they’ve accomplished has not been covered enough. I think they feel that motivation.”