Can Ohio State slow down Trevor Lawrence? The Yahoo Sports College Podcast crew picks the 2021 Sugar Bowl on the latest episode.
DAN WETZEL: Pat, let's start with you. Your thoughts on this one.
PAT FORDE: I'm gonna pick Clemson. I hope it's a good game. Boy, the last one, when these two played last year, was fantastic. I hope we get one on that level.
I just-- I kind of think Clemson has a distinct advantage here. I think that there's three elite units-- or two very elite units, both offenses. And I think Clemson's defense is better than Ohio State's defense. I think Brent Venables finds a lot of ways to fluster Justin Fields. And I think Clemson wins this thing and covers the number.
PETE THAMEL: I'm gonna disagree with Pat. It'd be boring if we all thought the same thing. I am going to-- I'm gonna take Ohio State to win the game straight up. I feel like the identity of their offensive line will establish itself, as it did in the second half. And I do think that you'll see some different play calling from Ryan Day in this game.
I think there's such an ethos in that program of aggression, aggression, aggression. And I do think seeing the success they could have against a very good Northwestern defense of locking in and running the ball. And Clemson isn't what it was up front. They have some really talented young defensive linemen, but they are young. So I think Ohio State wins a lower-scoring close game. And they'll figure out a way to shut down Travis Etienne and slow Trevor Lawrence, just enough.
DAN WETZEL: All right. So cover the 7-point spread-- Clemson's given 7-- and win the game. All right, Pete.
PETE THAMEL: Yeah. I'm gonna say they're gonna win the game. I'm not gonna hedge it. I'm gonna go.
DAN WETZEL: Might as well be all in. I am gonna stick with Clemson. This is just a really hard game. I just have no idea what Ohio State is.
PETE THAMEL: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: I just-- they played so few games. They had so much time off. There's times that Fields looks unbelievable. And then we got this-- we got Sermon comes up-- I don't-- I just don't know what to think of them. So if I had to bet this game, I would not bet this game. But since this is what we do-- picking a game-- I just think there's too many unknowns that I would not jump on on this game because Ohio State might be awesome, but we haven't seen that.