Ohio State vs. Clemson: How to Watch, Live Stream Fiesta Bowl

Almost exactly three years on from meeting in a College Football Playoff semifinal, a place in the national title game is again at stake when Ohio State and Clemson cross paths on Saturday.

When the two programs met in the Fiesta Bowl in 2016 the Tigers thrashed the Buckeyes 31-0 en route to the championship game, where they defeated Alabama.

Since then, Clemson has added another national title to its belt and arrives in Glendale, Arizona, on the back of a second consecutive undefeated regular season and have won their last 28 straight games.

To put it another way, by the time the Tigers take to the field against the Buckeyes, they will be just four days away from going unbeaten for two calendar years—their last defeat coming against Alabama in the CFP semifinals on January 1, 2018.

Clemson is a two-point favorite ahead of Saturday, but this year's Fiesta Bowl should be a far closer affair than it was in 2016.

As this graphic provided by Statista shows, Ohio State enters the CFP semifinal as the No. 2 ranked team in college football, with Clemson at No. 3.

College Football Playoff Ranking Week 15
Ohio State and Clemson enter the CFP semifinals as the No. 2 and No. 3 ranked teams in the nation. Statista

The Buckeyes occupied top spot in the CFP rankings going into the final week of the season and like Clemson they have gone 13-0, meaning the Tigers will face an undefeated team in the semifinal for the second consecutive season after thrashing Notre Dame 31-3 last year.

The Buckeyes make their first CFP appearance since 2016 and coach Ryan Day suggested his team had to embrace the challenge.

"The first thing is you have to believe, you have to believe that you belong as national champs. You go from there," he was quoted as saying by USA Today.

"Our preparation doesn't need to change in terms of what we've done to this point. We don't need guys to do extraordinary things. We need them to continue what they're doing."

Both programs have been utterly dominant this season. The Buckeyes defeated four ranked teams this season—Wisconsin twice, Cincinnati, Michigan and Penn State—and its smallest winning margin was 11 points over the latter.

Clemson's schedule was remarkably easier but the national champions' march was no less impressive. The Tigers won their last eight game by an average margin of 42.1 points and are 10-3 against the spread this season, covering in a FBS-best 76.9 percent of games.

Their only meeting against a ranked opponent came against No. 24 Virginia in the ACC title game, with Clemson burying the Cavaliers 62-17.

Clemson ranks first in points and yards allowed per game with 10.6 and 244.7 respectively, conceding a nation-low 138.5 passing yards per game. Ohio State's passing defense ranks just behind Clemson's, largely thanks to Chase Young's nation-best 16.5 sacks.

Young was one of the Buckeyes' two Heisman Trophy finalists, along with Justin Fields. In his first season since swapping Georgia for Ohio State, the quarterback racked up 2,953 passing yards with a 67.5 completion percentage, throwing for 40 touchdown and a single interception while adding 10 rushing scores.

"They're good up front on both sides," Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said in his press conference last week when asked about Ohio State's strengths.

"They've got as good a player there is in college football coming off the edge [Young]. Their quarterback [Fields] has been amazing. They've got great skill outside and great backs that can run the ball. So this is a very complete team, very well coached. And it's going to be a challenge."

Fields has been brilliantly supported on the ground by J.K. Dobbins, who has rushed for 1,829 yards and 20 touchdowns this season—third and sixth-best in the nation respectively.

The duo have played a major role in transforming Ohio State's offense into the most high-octane in the country at an average of 48.7 points per game, but the Tigers' quarterback-running back combination is just as impressive.

After a relatively slow start to the season, Trevor Lawrence has thrown 20 touchdown passes without an interception in his last six games, while running back Travis Etienne has rushed for 1,500 yards and 17 score and ranks first in the FBS with 8.24 yards per carry.

Here's all you need to know ahead of Saturday.

Ryan Day, Ohio State Buckeyes
Ryan Day and the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrate after winning the Big Ten Championship against the Wisconsin Badgers at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 7 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Justin Casterline/Getty

When and where is the Fiesta Bowl?

The Ohio State Buckeyes take on the Clemson Tigers at State Farm Stadium, the home of the Arizona Cardinals, in Glendale, Arizona.

Kick-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 28.

TV coverage

The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.

Live stream

A live stream will be available via ESPN's digital platforms, WatchESPN and the ESPN app.

Series record

Ohio State and Clemson have played each other three times, with the Tigers winning in each occasion. The most recent meeting came in the Fiesta Bowl three years ago, when Clemson thrashed Ohio State 31-0.


According to BetOnline, Clemson is a two-point favorite to reach the national title for the second consecutive game.

The Tigers are 22/25 to cover the spread, while Ohio State is a 27/25 underdog and the over/under line in terms of total points scored is set at 63.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

About the writer

Dan Cancian is currently a reporter for Newsweek based in London, England. Prior to joining Newsweek in January 2018, he was a news and business reporter at International Business Times UK. Dan has also written for The Guardian and The Observer. 

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