Ohio State rolled into halftime with a big lead over Clemson in the Sugar Bowl.

The spotlight in the first half has been on Justin Fields – and for good reason. Fields has been on fire, throwing for four touchdowns and completing 16 of 18 passes, and putting up 35 first-half points with the offense. Add in the fact that Fields has been fighting through pain from a vicious hit, and he deserves all the praise in the world for his early work.

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While the attention has been on the Ohio State offense, fans should not sleep on the work put in on the defensive side of the ball. After allowing two touchdowns by Clemson in the first quarter, the Buckeyes pitched a shutout in the second quarter.

In fact, the Tigers received just 11 offensive snaps for the entire second quarter. That came after Clemson scored two touchdowns on 18 snaps in the first quarter.

One of the big storylines coming into this game was the fact that Clemson’s offensive coordinator Tony Elliott is not able to be with the team for the Sugar Bowl. He remains isolated due to COVID-19 protocol.

Elliott’s absence was not felt on the opening drive as Clemson rolled 82 yards on eight plays for a touchdown. However, as the game evolves, not having his presence on the sideline to make adjustments could prove disastrous for Clemson’s offense.

Can Ohio State finish off the win and advance to the National Championship Game?