CLEMSON, S.C. (CLEMSON ATHLETICS) — The College Football Playoff and the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl announced today that the third-seeded Clemson Tigers will face the second-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 28.
The selection marks Clemson’s fifth consecutive College Football Playoff (CFP) appearance. With the selection, Clemson ties Alabama (five) for the most CFP berths in history.
Clemson will be making a bowl appearance for the 15th consecutive year, adding to its current school record that began in 2005. In total, it will be Clemson’s 45th bowl appearance, with the Tigers entering their upcoming bowl schedule with an existing 24-20 all-time record in bowl play.
The game will be a rematch of Clemson’s only prior Fiesta Bowl appearance in school history. On Dec. 31, 2016, the second-seeded Tigers shut out the third-ranked Buckeyes in a 31-0 victory that sent Clemson to its second straight College Football Playoff National Championship Game. The 31-point victory was the worst margin of defeat in a bowl game in Ohio State history and marked the first time an Urban Meyer-coached team had been shut out in 194 games as well as the first time Ohio State had been shut out since 1993.
Though Ohio State enters the bowl season with the second-most all-time wins in FBS history, Clemson holds a 3-0 all-time record against the Buckeyes. The two programs first met in the 1978 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., a 17-15 Clemson victory that represented Danny Ford’s first game as Clemson head coach and Woody Hayes’ final game as Ohio State head coach. The game is perhaps most notorious for an interception by Clemson’s Charlie Bauman with two minutes left, in which Bauman picked off an Art Schlichter pass and was punched by Hayes upon running out of bounds on the Ohio State sideline.
Prior to their most recent meeting in 2016, the teams also met in the 2014 Orange Bowl as Clemson concluded the 2013 season with its first BCS bowl victory. Clemson earned a 40-35 victory, as the Tigers forced four second-half turnovers, including a fumble and interception on the Buckeyes’ last two possessions, to rally from a halftime deficit for the win. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins set Tiger and Orange Bowl records with 16 receptions and 227 receiving yards to garner MVP honors, while quarterback Tajh Boyd accounted for 505 yards of total offense and six touchdowns.