The 2019 season came to a frustrating end at the hands of Clemson yet again, and that feeling won’t leave the Ohio State football team any time soon.
The end of the 2019 season for the Ohio State Buckeyes was not as they had hoped. A year that began on a magical ride that seemed only fitting for it to end in New Orleans hoisting the CFP National Championship trophy ended in Phoenix just one game short.
Right out of the gate the Ohio State football team seemed like it had the potential to be a special one in coach Ryan Day’s first year. As the weeks wore on the Buckeyes continued to live up to the hype and exceed it, earning the No. 1 ranking for multiple weeks in the process.
QB Justin Fields, RB JK Dobbins and DE Chase Young led their fellow Buckeyes to an historic season in every phase of the game. For most of the year Ohio State boasted the top ranked scoring offense and scoring defense while posting an unheard of +470 scoring margin entering the CFP.
Fields and Young were Heisman finalists while Dobbins was slighted, but that didn’t stop him from showing out against Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl. Until the end of time the asterisk around the Fiesta Bowl will be controversial officiating with emphasis on major calls in the game.
But in the end the Buckeyes executed poorly in the red zone when it mattered most and that was the true difference in the game.
Seeing Ohio State and Clemson on the same field it was evident the Buckeyes were the superior team, they just didn’t play that way on that night. Having lost the game but knowing your team was better made the national championship that much harder to not only watch but swallow as Clemson was handled by LSU.
There’s nothing anyone can do about the results of the game because you can’t turn back time, but the Buckeyes will have plenty of motivation for the 2020 season. They have to sit on the Fiesta Bowl loss for a full off-season wondering what could have been.
The only way to turn a “what if “into a reality is hard work and dedication which is bred through motivation. Though Ohio State is losing a ton of talent, the Buckeyes have recruited well and have players ready to step while players like CB Shaun Wade decided to return to school giving the Bucks their top cover corner for 2020.
Ohio State does have a difficult schedule again including a trip to Eugene in Week 2, but the stiffer competition is more spaced out instead of like the grueling finish the Buckeyes had to overcome this past season.
Justin Fields will be elevated to a whole new level and have Ohio State right back in the thick of things for the Big Ten and CFP races. While all the 2020 hype is surrounding Clemson after RB Travis Etienne’s announcement to return to school, don’t count out Ohio State. It’s early, but a rematch against the Tigers seems to be in order only this time on the biggest stage.