The College Football Playoff semi-finals are over and now the two teams are preparing for the National Championship Game. LSU destroyed Oklahoma and Clemson eeked out a win over Ohio State. Now, LSU and Clemson will meet on Monday, January 13. Here is the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship Game preview.
Clemson Tigers (14-0)
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has been playing the disrespect card with his team and it has worked to perfection. The Tigers were criticized for not beating anyone of note during the regular season, but after beating Ohio State, that is no longer an issue. Now they will play their second tough game in a row.
Against the Buckeyes, quarterback Trevor Lawrence demonstrated his dual-threat abilities. He threw for 259 yards and two interceptions on 18 of 33 passing to go with his 107 rushing yards and one score on the ground. Lawrence is a star who will have to help Clemson keep up with LSU’s high-powered offense.
None of the wide receivers played particularly well for Clemson against Ohio State, but running back Travis Etienne was a good target for Lawrence. He had three receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns. Etienne added 36 rushing yards and one touchdown on the ground. The receivers, mainly Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross, will need to step up to help Clemson put up more points in this game.
The offensive line did a good job of limiting Chase Young, who had no sacks, but the rest of the Ohio State line finished with three.
Isaiah Simmons was the star for Clemson’s defense in this game. He had four tackles and a key interception. His versatility can be useful against LSU’s air-raid attack. Clemson’s defensive line will also have to step up after registering four sacks against Ohio State.
LSU Tigers (14-0)
LSU has been the biggest story of the season. After not having a viable offense for several years, that all changed with the help of quarterback Joe Burrow and the addition of Joe Brady to the coaching staff. This pushed them to the College Football Playoff and helped Burrow pick up a Heisman Trophy along the way. Head coach Ed Orgeron has set a good tone for this team.
Burrow has had a historic season and it showed against Oklahoma. He threw seven touchdown passes in the first half and also ran in a score. His performance set plenty of College Football Playoff records. His favorite receiver was Justin Jefferson, who had 14 catches for 227 yards and four touchdowns. Tight end Thaddeus Moss and wide receivers Terrace Marshall and Ja’Marr Chase will give Clemson a lot of talented pass-catchers to match up with.
Starting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire was banged up and didn’t play much against Oklahoma. He should be ready to go for the National Championship Game. Chris Curry was the leading rusher against the Sooners with 16 carries for 90 yards.
The offensive line won the award for the best in the country and allowed just one sack against Oklahoma.
When Oklahoma tried to keep up with LSU, edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson had two sacks to slow them down. He will have to put pressure on Lawrence and keep him in the pocket. The secondary has several future pros including Derek Stingley, Grant Delpit and Kristian Fulton, who will make things tough for the Clemson offense.
Clemson has enough firepower to give LSU a game. The difference is that they may not have the defensive line to get pressure on Burrow consistently or the secondary to match up with their many talented receivers. It should be a relatively high-scoring game, which favors LSU.
LSU Tigers 42 Clemson Tigers 37