The Clemson Tigers watched film of their victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes three years ago in the Orange Bowl in preparation for the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday.
In a press conference Tuesday at the Camelback Inn, Clemson senior safety Jadar Johnson compared Ohio State’s quarterback then, Braxton Miller, to its quarterback now, J.T. Barrett.
“I feel like Braxton Miller could throw a little better than J.T.,” Johnson said. “I’m not really strong on J.T. Barrett’s arm. I don’t really think he can throw that well. I’m not saying he can’t throw at all. He definitely can put it out there. I definitely think Braxton Miller was a better quarterback.”
Barrett threw 24 touchdown passes and averaged 202.3 passing yards per game in 2016. The Buckeyes averaged 258.3 yards per game on the ground.
“They have a good passing game, but they’re really a run-first team,” Johnson said. “They want to run the ball, run the ball, run the ball and get us on our heels. If they can get five or six yards per carry, that puts us on our heels, or it makes us want to commit to the run a little more, and that’s when they can throw the ball over our heads. Whatever their first option is, that’s what we need to stop, and their first option is to run, and basically a lot of the times the run comes from their quarterback. They do have a good running back (Mike Weber). I really like him. They like to run that downhill run with the quarterback and get him up in the trench. I just feel if our D-line can limit him on that, it’ll force them to pass a little more than they want to.”