LSU vs CLEMSON – Tuesday 1:00am GMT – 14th January 2020
College Football’s National Championship is one of the most anticipated games in the football calendar. Over 25 million watched the National Champion game between Clemson and Alabama in 2019. 2020’s instalment sees SEC Champions LSU face ACC Champions CLEMSON in the Battle of the Tigers.
Some will be surprised that the National Championship game is not a repeat between Clemson and Alabama. A rejuvenated LSU have captivated college football and will effectively have a home-field advantage as only 80 miles separate LSU and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
LSU are the favourites but this game is a toss-up with plenty of NFL consequences. It could come down to whoever has the ball last. Clemson are going for back to back championships; their third since the College Playoffs started in the 2014 season. Whereas, LSU haven’t trailed to an opponent in 25 quarters of football!
The National Championship sees highly sort after Quarterbacks, Joe Burrow from LSU and Trevor Lawrence from Clemson goes head to head. Burrow will be looking to cement his claim to go first overall in the 2020 draft and it is difficult to see Lawrence not going first overall in 2021.
Lawrence is undefeated in college football and has won 70 of his last 71 games, last losing a game in his senior year of high school. Lawrence has thrown 202 pass attempts since he last threw an interception and is a top pick in the 2021 draft baring nothing disastrous occurring.
Offence v Defence
The big question will remain, can this Clemson defence upset the LSU offence?
LSU’s offence is the most efficient of the last 15 years. They like to get the ball out quickly and with so many offensive weapons they quickly move their way downfield. LSU pass on over 60% of first downs and over 70% of their total yards have come from passing. But, if anyone can stop the LSU offence it’s Clemson, who perhaps have the best secondary in college football.
Clemson’s defensive front is much changed, with big named players such as Clelin Ferrell and Christian Wilkins entering the NFL. Clemon’s defensive front will need to match the intensity of their secondary to stand any chance of slowing down the aggressive LSU Offence.
The National Championship will feature plenty of Draft Prospects. Here are the names for you to look out for.
LSU DRAFT PROSPECTS
The rise of LSU has defied all pundits. Their rise could see a number of their stars go in the first round in the upcoming NFL Draft. LSU players will be looking for a huge game to jump up scouting draft boards.
Joe Burrow – QB
The Heisman Trophy winner has led LSU to the Playoffs for the first time and is the overwhelming favourite to go 1st overall in April’s NFL draft. Burrow needs three touchdowns against Clemson to tie the FBS record– something he has achieved in his last 6 games. Burrow also needs just 625 yards to equal the single-season record set by B.J. Symons all the way back in 2003.
Grant Delpit – S
The premier safety in the 2020 draft. Delpit can secure a first-round pick if he shows up against Trevor Lawrence and the Clemson’s offence. Delpit is easily a first-round pick and there are plenty of NFL teams that will be watching him closely.
Kristian Fulton – CB
Fulton dominates when in 1 to 1 matchup. Fulton has taken away wide receivers from matches all season. After a checkered start to his college career, Fulton is a primetime NFL corner in waiting. Fulton is so important to the LSU defence and it will be interesting to see if he lines up against Tee Higgins.
K’Lavon Chaisson – EDGE
The Most Outstanding Defensive Player in the Peach Bowl. Chaisson dominated Oklahoma recording 2 sacks and 6 solo stops. The sophomore will go in the first round and how he gets to Trevor Lawrence is a key matchup.
CLEMSON DRAFT PROSPECTS
6 Clemson Tigers have been drafted in the first round in the past 4 years. More of the same is expected as Head Coach Dabo Swinney continues to show he is one of the best.
Isaiah Simmons – LB
Clemson’s defence has been solid all year. Isaiah Simmons is at the heart of it. Simmons is the top linebacker in this year’s draft and will enter as a top pick. Simmons is more than simply a linebacker, he has lined up in every defensive position except from defensive tackle. At 6’4″ and 230 pounds his range makes him formidable prospect for his eventual NFL team. Simmons will be a steal for any team but could secure a top 10 pick with a performance in the National Championship game.
Tee Higgins – WR
Scouts will be watching Higgins closely in the National Championship game. Higgins is a top wide receiver prospect but seems to have fallen behind Jerry Jeudy and Ceedee Lamb. Higgins will have his work cut out against the LSU defence but with a big day could see him climbing up draft boards.
Travis Etienne – RB
The top running back in the draft is up for grabs. Ettiene could make a claim for the top RB with a solid performance against the LSU front 7. As an LSU fan growing up, can Etienne spoil the Louisiana party?
The National Championship Game is available on BT Sport ESPN in the UK. College Gameday brings all the buildup before the main event kicks off at 01:00 early hours of Tuesday morning.
Feature Image Credit: mbsuperdome.com