Glendale, Ariz. - That was not what many people expected. Ohio State was thoroughly dominated in every aspect of the game by Clemson in a 31-0 loss. The BSB staff came up with its top three takeaways from the 2016 Fiesta Bowl semifinal.
1. Ohio State Ignored Its Biggest Problems All Season
The Buckeyes struggled to throw the ball all season, yet continued to win games, so they seemed to ignore the problem. Much like 2015, all of its problems came back to bite them in the biggest game of the year and cost them a chance at a national title. It appeared Ohio State had some players waiting in the wings that could make plays, but failed to use them (more on that later). Outside of Curtis Samuel, OSU receivers failed to create separation and the offense failed to adjust, or give younger players a chance.
2. Binjimen Victor probably should've played a lot this season
A big part of Ohio State's offensive problems throughout the year has been a lack of separation from the receivers. Victor, a true freshman, has barely played all year, but he was thrust into the game against Clemson and promptly recorded a 21-yard reception – one of the few positive plays for the Buckeye offense. He also consistently got separation whenever in the game. Essentially, he did everything the majority of Ohio State's receivers couldn't. The Florida native is poised for a breakout season in 2017.
3. Buckeye Coaches Don't Trust Mike Weber
They would probably deny that, but the proof is in the stat sheet. In the two biggest games of the year, Weber tallied just 16 carries for 50 yards, including just five carries against Clemson. While Weber did fumble on two of his five carries against the Tigers, he gained significant yards on almost every one. When Ohio State ran it up the middle, it had success, but it seemed to be too little to late. For a 1,000 yard running back to only get one carry in the first half seemed like not enough if OSU wants to be balanced.