Ohio State-Clemson | Joey Kaufman’s Three Points

Joey Kaufman
Clemson Tigers running back Travis Etienne (9) fends off Ohio State Buckeyes safety Jordan Fuller (4) during the first quarter of the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Clemson Tigers on Saturday, December 28, 2019 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. [Joshua A. Bickel/Dispatch]

Star of the game

Clemson running back Travis Etienne made several critical plays for the Tigers as they cut into Ohio State's lead in the first half, including an 8-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter, then scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 34-yard catch with 1:49 left in the fourth quarter.

Stat that mattered

0: Red-zone trips in which Ohio State finished with a touchdown, settling for field goals. Had they ended with touchdowns, the Buckeyes could have scored as many as 21 points rather than nine. They had the nation's third-best touchdown percentage in the red zone before kickoff at 81.9 percent.

Big picture

The Buckeyes suffered their first loss under coach Ryan Day, and despite a historic regular season in which they looked like they were piecing together one of the best teams at Ohio State, the loss in the Fiesta Bowl kept them out of the national championship game and a shot for the top prize.