Ohio State wanted to redeem itself. After sitting through the entire season having last year’s Fiesta Bowl loss linger in the back of their minds, the Buckeyes want to prove to the world they were capable of winning a national championship.

Ryan Day and his team got one step closer to accomplishing that goal on New Year’s Day. Ohio State blasted Clemson in Friday’s Sugar Bowl 49-28 to move on to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game with No. 1 Alabama awaiting. While getting revenge on the Tigers was sweet in Columbus, it was hardly the goal.

Monday, Day met with reporters during championship week as the Buckeyes prepare to take on the Crimson Tide. He made it quite clear while speaking on Zoom, that Ohio State still hasn’t accomplished the goal it set out before the year started.

“The goal was never just to beat Clemson,” Day said. “The goal was to win the national championship.”

Ohio State looked incredibly impressive in the win over Clemson. Justin Fields threw 6 touchdown passes with just 6 incompletions in the game, Trey Sermon rushed for 193 yards and added another 60 receiving and the defense was stellar against one of the nation’s most powerful offenses.

But as well as OSU played, Day said the team has to play better against Alabama. The Tide had little trouble with Notre Dame, winning the Rose Bowl 31-14.

This will be Ohio State’s first appearance in the national championship since it won the title following the 2014 season.