WATCH: Travis Etienne is leveled by Ohio State LB on bone-crushing hit in CFB Playoff

By Matt Johnson
© Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio State Buckeyes came into the Fiesta Bowl wanting to set a tone. Buckeyes linebacker Justin Hilliard set the tone early in the CFP Semifinal by leveling Clemson Tigers running back Travis Etienne on a bone-crushing hit.

After Buckeyes running back J.K. Dobbins ripped through Clemson’s defense with a 68-yard touchdown run, Etienne returned the kickoff looking for a big play. After seemingly finding a hole to run through, Hilliard came flying through and wiped out Clemson’s star running back.

Ohio State’s sideline was already hyped up following Dobbins’ touchdown. After watching the senior linebacker crush one of the best running backs in the country, the Buckeyes reached an even higher level of excitement and energy.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney tried to get his team fired up early with his pregame speech. It might be time for another one because the Buckeyes are destroying the Tigers on both sides of the ball in this semifinal matchup.