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The 10 most important players in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl

28 December 2016

Junior J.T. Barrett, the Big Ten's Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year, was one of two recipients to share the Chicago Tribune Silver Football award as the league's most valuable player.

But being Ohio State's offensive line means all of those moments will be seen by more people and analyzed, commented on, applauded and criticized more than with most teams. That number, 2.7 seconds, became the metric by which plays would be judged a failure or a success.

No. 2 Clemson (12-1) takes on No. 3 Ohio State (11-1) in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at 7 p.m. on December 31, and it should be a tight matchup between teams that have been in the College Football Playoff before.

"I'm not really strong on J.T. Barrett's arm", Clemson safety Jadar Johnson said. "I have to make sure I get it out in a timely fashion".

McMillan turned in one of his best performances as a Buckeyes in the MI win, totaling 16 tackles and applying the pressure on Wilton Speight in the back of the end zone prior to Malik Hooker's pick-six. So it's pretty fast, when we're on time. The Buckeyes set a school record this season with seven interceptions returned for TDs - three of those by Malik Hooker, another unanimous first-team All-American. While Price did not come under as much scrutiny when he was starting for the first time in a bowl game, he said he has been impressed with how Prince has handled the outside pressure this year. In the next six games, Barrett was sacked 20 times.

The 2016 Peach Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl - two games college football fans have been waiting for all season as their teams vie for a shot at a National Championship. "He is definitely a good player, but he does not stand out as one of the best quarterbacks that we have played this year".

Obviously, Barrett is not exclusively responsible for the recent issues bogging down the passing attack, since he's not doing the blocking or running any routes.

"We do things other alumni clubs don't do", including offering bus transportation from Scottsdale to Saturday's game in Glendale, Fox said.

"Their coaching staff is tremendous", Swinney continued. Circle this game on your calendar, even if you're out and about this New Year's Eve and can only keep one eye on a television. "Since you were a little kid, your dream was to be a big-time college player or NFL player and win a national championship, and that opportunity is right in front of us".

Penn State narrowly missed qualifying for the college playoffs, but the Nittany Lions get a very good consolation prize - a trip to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. and a January 2 battle with highly-touted USC. And if he doesn't, he's upset. "What do I have to do better on my end?'"

Bowl season is in full swing, with the usual assemblage of blowouts, thrillers, and last-second heroics. And sticking to that short window with the football in his hands was clearly at the top of his list as Barrett prepared for his first practice this week in Arizona. And as the countdown to kickoff also winds down, the Buckeyes don't want to waste a single second.

"He's just a natural leader", center Pat Elflein said. He's going to be a factor there, but he'll need to make enough plays in the passing game to push the Buckeyes to a victory. You know, it gives us an opportunity to work, an opportunity to grow. "We've got a job to do so we're going to take care of business".

The clock is ticking.