Ohio State wins the Sugar Bowl over Clemson 49-28. Five thoughts and analysis of the game, and what it all means.

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Ohio State wins the Allstate Sugar Bowl

Final Score: Ohio State 49, Clemson 28
CFN Prediction: Clemson 38, Ohio State 27
Line: Clemson -7.5, o/u: 66.5

5. Ohio State waited all year for this, and it all worked

This wasn’t all about Ohio State getting revenge after last year’s Fiesta Bowl loss to Clemson.

But it had a lot to do with it.

This wasn’t totally about Justin Fields looking for redemption.

But, apparently, it sure did make him very, very focused and motivated.

This wasn’t about Clemson missing offensive coordinator Tony Elliott.

Yeah, it’s a big puzzle to put together, but him not being there didn’t have anything to do with the Tigers’ defensive issues.

And this wasn’t about Dabo Swinney trolling Ohio State by ranking it 11th.

But it sure didn’t hurt Ohio State’s cause.

It was a little of all of that for a supremely talented team that found the extra edge to take things to a whole other level.

We’ve seen it before with an ultra-focused 2016 Clemson team finishing the job after losing the 2015 season national title to Alabama. We saw it with Bama after coming achingly close in 2008, only to come back roaring in 2009 with a blowout win over the Florida Tebows on the way to a national championship.

Taking away what happened on the field this year – there was NOTHING to suggest that Ohio State was about to play this well – the Buckeyes’ motivation was the one X factor in a College Football Playoff that seemed totally predictable the moment it was announced.

That, and what was Ohio State going to be like when it had the full team together?

It was missing 22 players for the Big Ten Championship, it could never quite get the offensive line totally right and healthy throughout the season, and against Clemson, this was close to being a full squad.

This was the Buckeye team we’ve been waiting for.

NEXT: Clemson ran into a buzzsaw