Clemson and LSU will face each other in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans Monday night for the 2020 College Football Playoff Championship. The game will kick off at 8:00 pm ET and will be televised on ESPN.
Clemson (14-0 SU, 11-3 ATS) the defending national champion, and this year’s number 3 seed, will be playing in the national championship game for the fourth time in the five years since it’s inception. They are riding a 29-game winning streak and will be trying to win their third national championship in the last four seasons.
Sophomore QB Trevor Lawrence has thrown for 1,932 yards and 36 touchdowns with only eight interceptions. Since taking over as the starter early last season he is 25-0. In the College Football Playoff Semifinal game against Ohio State he had over 100 yards rushing including a 67-yard touchdown run. He threw two touchdown passes and led his team on a 94-yard drive, with under two minutes left on the game clock, for what proved to be the winning touchdown in the 29-23 victory over the Buckeyes. This was their first win over a top ten ranked team this season but they showed the heart of a champion by fighting back from a 16-0 deficit to get the victory. Clemson ranks third in the country in total offense and averages 45.3 points per game.
RB Travis Etienne had 1,932 total yards from scrimmage and 22 total touchdowns. He has 3,960 career yards rushing which is just 6 yards short of the all-time Clemson school record.
Clemson has the number one ranked scoring defense in the nation allowing only 11.5 points per game and the number two defense in the nation in total yards allowed with 264.1. The defense has shown that they are very capable of pressuring the opposing quarterback by racking up 94 quarterback pressures and 42 sacks. The secondary does their job also as the top ranked secondary in the country.
LSU (14-0 SU, 9-4-1 ATS) led by Heisman Trophy winning QB Joe Burrow is averaging 48.9 points per game. He passed for 5,208 yards and 55 touchdowns with only eight interceptions this season. He broke the SEC single-season records for both touchdowns and total passing yards.
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for 1,304 yards and WR’s Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson had 1,559 yards and 1,434 yards receiving respectively with 18 touchdown receptions each. LSU is the first team ever to have a 5,000 yard passer, a 1,000 yard rusher and two 1,000 yard receivers.
Critics point out that LSU’s weakness is that they do not have an elite secondary allowing 221.9 yards passing per game. The fact that LSU’s offense has been so explosive skews these numbers, to some extent, because opponents have been forced to throw the ball frequently to try to overcome large deficits. After allowing 614 total yards of offense and 37 points in their game against Mississippi the defense has responded by allowing only 16.3 points, 86 yards rushing and 184 yards passing in the next four games including their 63-28 domination of Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff semi-final game.
Ten of LSU’s 14 wins came against teams that played in bowl games and 11 of their 14 wins were by 14 points or more.
LSU opened at -5 with a total of 69.5.