Sports

College Football Playoff National Championship Preview

By: Jack Zinman (Sports Editor)

This year’s College Football National Championship features two of the best teams in the nation. The number one ranked LSU Tigers will matchup against the third ranked, reigning champion, Clemson Tigers on January 13th.

In the Peach Bowl, LSU throttled Oklahoma 63-28 in a game that witnessed Tiger QB Joe Burrow throw for 7 touchdowns in just the first half, leading his team to a 49-14 halftime lead.

As for Clemson, they had a more even match against Ohio State. The Tigers went down 16-0 late in the first half but clawed their way back to make it 16-14 at half time. 

A back and forth second half set up the Tigers 94 yard go ahead drive late in the fourth resulting in a 34 yard Travis Etienne screen pass from Trevor Lawrence.

A late interception sealed the win and punched a ticket to New Orleans to play in the National Championship.

The biggest question going into the game is if the Clemson defense led by defensive coordinator Brent Venables can come up with a gameplan to stop the high flying LSU offense.

Junior Daniel Fishman says that Clemson’s defense won’t be able to stop the high powered LSU offense. “I think [Clemson] has a good team but I don’t think they’ll be able to stop LSU,” Fishman said.

Led by Isaiah Simmons, Tyler Davis, James Skalski, Tanner Muse and Nolan Turner, the Tigers defense ranks best in the nation in total defense. 

On the other side of the ball, Clemson is led by signal caller, Trevor Lawrence who is 29-0 in college. Other weapons include Travis Etienne, Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross. Putting up 45.3 PPG, the Clemson offense ranks fourth in the country but they rank 3rd in total offense.

Senior Kyle Sullivan says that Clemson’s offense is better than most think. “Clemson has a really good offense, underrated actually. I think they can take advantage of LSU’s vulnerable defense,” Sullivan said.

Standing two spots ahead of Clemson is their opposition Monday night. LSU ranks best in almost every statistic for offense. Joe Burrow had an impressive Heisman campaign with 5,208 yards and 59 total touchdowns the Tigers will certainly rely on his play to win the national title.

“LSU has shredded the best teams in the country and I just believe that they’ll do it again,” Fishman added.

The two headed monster of Justin Jefferson and Jamar Chase, it will be a tough task to stop both of them but even one of them. For LSU, their defense will have to play the best game of the season as they have been just ok. In the only other game where they played a real threat, they let up 41 points. 

Junior Jordan Saks says the LSU defense is under appreciated and will do its job to win the championship. “I think the defense is underrated and that they can win this game for LSU,” Saks said.

They also scored 46 in that game but will they be able to do that against Clemson? Probably not. 

“It should be a good game, I think there is going to be a lot of points scored but LSU should win this game,” Fishman concluded.

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