Superdome before the national championship

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Kristian Garic goes inside the matchup between No.1 LSU vs No.3 Clemson

Kristian Garic
January 13, 2020 - 7:52 am
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The hype and buildup is just about over for the College Football National Championship game.  LSU and Clemson have had 15 days to study, breakdown, and prepare for one another. Finally, the rubber is about to meet the road. 

Blitz or play coverage? That’s the biggest question Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables has to answer.  Will he bring pressure to get to LSU QB Joe Burrow? Or, will Venables rush just three players and drop the remaining eight defenders in coverage? The blitz would be ill-advised.  Burrow completed 78% of his passes against pressure this season.  In other words, Burrow’s deadly when you blitz. 

So why not do what Auburn did earlier this season and rush three and drop eight?  Well, in theory that’s a good plan.  But, Clemson doesn’t have the big guys up front that Auburn has.   The bottom line is Venables will have to do both, and pick his spots, if Clemson is going to have success against LSU. 

So, what’s the greatest challenge for the Bayou Bengals? I feel like we’re sleeping a little bit on Clemson’s offense against the Purple & Gold defense.  Sophomore QB Trevor Lawrence is sensational, and in many ways just as dangerous as Burrow.  Clemson scored 50 points or more in six games.  They average 45 points per game.  While we might be asking the question, “How is Clemson going to stop LSU?” We also need to ask the opposite, “How is LSU going to stop Clemson?” 

It’s not simple.  Clemson running back Travis Ettiene is a stud. The Jennings, Louisiana native holds the nation’s highest yards per carry average. LSU’s defense has their work cut out for them.

LSU is favored by 5 ½ points, and to be honest, I’m not sure that’s enough.  I just think the Tigers of LSU are more talented.  They are battled tested with six wins against top 10 opponents this year. Plus the Purple & Gold will have “dome-field”advantage.

On the flip side, Clemson has championship experience. But, they have zero wins against top 10 teams. In fact, they haven’t played anyone ranked that high this season.   Clemson only played one team ranked in the top 25...Texas A&M.  That matters in a battle like this. 

LSU will win this game.  Get ready for some points! 

LSU 45 / Clemson 30.  Geaux Tigers! 

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