Ryan Day talks Ohio State's No. 3 ranking, rematch with Clemson in Playoff semifinal
With their 22-10 win over Northwestern on Saturday still on his mind, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day has learned who the Buckeyes will face in the College Football Playoffs on Sunday morning.
The matchup has a familiar ring to it.
The Buckeyes earned the No. 3 seed in the CFP and will face No. 2 Clemson in the semifinals. The matchup creates a rematch of last year’s CFP semifinal game, where the Tigers came away with a 29-23 win.
Day spoke with ESPN on Sunday after the announcement was made, and talked about the rematch.
“That was a loss that was fresh on our minds,” said Day. “And then, as we went into quarantine and into the preseason, we wanted an opportunity to get back into this situation. To go win the whole thing. When guys were fighting for a season, they wanted to go win a national championship.”
This game will mark the third time in five years Ohio State and Clemson will meet in the College Football Playoff semifinals, with Clemson winning the first two, topping Ohio State last season and beating the Buckeyes 31-0 in 2016.
After almost not having a season at all, Day reflected on the 2020 season.
“It’s such a strange year. I think the thing I keep going back to is I’ve been so inspired by the teams that have been through so many challenges this year,” said Day. “The theme you keep hearing over and over is overcoming adversity. And I think we’re no different here. There was a time when we didn’t have anything. We didn’t have a season. And now here we are, we’re ranked No. 3 heading into the CFP. So, it’s kinda been that way all season.”
The Buckeyes are expected to get another break on Monday, when the league is expected to modify their return-to-play rules, which could benefit some of the OSU players who have tested positive, and Day commented on some of the difficulties that everyone has faced this year.
“I totally respect everyone’s situation because everyone has gone through different things this year,” said Day. “Everyone has had different challenges. I just focus on this team and how special these guys are. …This has the opportunity to be one of the best stories in college football, if we do this thing.”
The Allstate Sugar Bowl is set take place in New Orleans on Jan. 1, with the late kickoff set at 8:45 p.m.