Justin Fields has proven his potential in the two seasons he has played in for the Ohio State Buckeyes. He has not only put up some incredible stats, but he has also led the Buckeyes to two consecutive College Football Playoff appearances and a national championship game appearance. While Fields and Ohio State had plenty of extra motivation to look to during the CFP semifinals against Clemson, it might be slightly harder for them to find as much extra motivation heading into the national championship game against Alabama. However, Fields might have recently received just that, as he potentially has some new bulletin board material to look to.
Justin Fields has had a great career with the Ohio State Buckeyes
Justin Fields started his college career with the Georgia Bulldogs. He, however, ultimately transferred to Ohio State and began playing for the Buckeyes in 2019.
Ohio State’s 2019 team was incredible. It not only had Fields at quarterback, but it had incredible players all throughout its offense and defense. Fields threw for 3,273 yards, 41 touchdowns, and three interceptions in 2019. He also ran for 484 yards and 10 touchdowns. His play ended up helping the Buckeyes start the year 13-0 and reach the College Football Playoff before barely losing to Clemson in the semifinals.
The Buckeyes then only played in six games prior to the CFP this year due to COVID-19, and Fields struggled a little more than he did last season. He still ultimately had a good year, though, as he helped Ohio State go 6-0 and reach the CFP again.
Fields then dominated Clemson in the semifinals. He threw for 385 yards, six touchdowns, and one interception. This ultimately helped the Buckeyes win 49-28 over the Tigers and reach the national championship game.
Overall on the season in 2020, in seven games, Fields has thrown for 1,906 yards, 21 touchdowns, and six interceptions. He has also run for 316 yards and five touchdowns.
He finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting
Fields was ultimately a Heisman Trophy finalist for his play in 2019, and ended up finishing third.
Many people expected Fields to be a Heisman finalist again in 2020. However, his increased interceptions, and his struggles in two games against two excellent teams (Indiana and Northwestern) led to him falling out of the race.
The 2020 Heisman winner was ultimately announced on Jan. 5, and it ended up going to Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith. He really deserved it, too, after having a remarkable season with the Crimson Tide this year.
Fields, though, probably didn’t expect to be as low in the voting as he was. Following Smith was Trevor Lawrence, Mac Jones, Kyle Trask, and Najee Harris in the top five. Fields didn’t even finish in the top six and was very far behind Harris for No. 5. According to CBS Sports, Harris received 216 points, while Iowa State running back Breece Hall was sixth with 64 points, and Fields was seventh with 48 points.
So, did Fields just get the bulletin board material he needed for the national championship game?
Justin Fields has more bulletin board material for the CFP championship
Some people might think that Fields didn’t even deserve to be seventh for the Heisman voting due to the fact that he has only played in seven games. However, the Heisman site says that “the winners of the trophy epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work.” Fields definitely displayed that this year, especially with all of the COVID-19 issues, and he has proven time and time again that he is one of the greatest players in all of college football.
He probably knows this, too, so it wouldn’t be too surprising if he takes his seventh-place finish and uses it as extra motivation heading into the national championship game. The Buckeyes had Dabo Swinney’s No. 11 ranking, their 2019 CFP loss, and everyone saying they didn’t belong as their motivation for the semifinals. Now, Fields can look at the fact that he has had the best performance in the CFP thus far but still finished behind three Alabama players in the Heisman voting, and use that to help him reach another level.
The votes were due on Dec. 21, according to The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach. So, that was actually before the CFP, but Fields should have still been higher than seventh due to his other past performances.
Justin Fields showed against Clemson that a motivated Fields is a scary Fields to face. He now has something he can use as extra motivation heading into the CFP national championship game against Alabama. This could lead to a legendary performance.
Stats courtesy of Sports Reference