Sure Ohio State is good, but the Buckeyes don’t have anything Clemson hasn’t seen. That seems to be the sentiment from the Tigers defensive players as they prepare for Saturday night’s Fiesta Bowl. It’s easy to mistake confidence for disrespect, this wasn’t intended as a diss by the Tigers. You have to remember, this is a team that faced the Heisman Trophy winner and came out on top. Why then would it be trash talk for Jadar Johnson to say the Tigers have faced better quarterbacks than J.T. Barrett? People will call that bulletin board material, but the it’s a fact that they have. That’s not a knock on Barrett.
Another reason for the confidence is experience. Clemson has been on this stage before. Having the experience of participating in the College Football Playoff is certainly an asset. At the end of the day though, you have to line up and play. Ohio State is the best team Clemson has faced this season and there will be a paper thin margin for error for a Tiger team that has made a season out of pulling out close games. Confidence can only take you so far.
Check out what a few of the Tigers defensive players had to say Tuesday: