I'm baaaaaaaaaaack! First, I'd like to apologize to everyone for not writing for a little bit. While I was being a good student and studying for my final exams, my computer literally shut down. I didn't have it for finals and it was the toughest week of my life. Luckily, I was able to scrape out C's for my finals, which is basically A's for me.
Now, onto why you guys are here. The National Championship game is coming up on Monday and we've got a great matchup to end out the year. Number one LSU, who's boat raced everyone in their way this season will take on number three Clemson, who hasn't lost a game since the college football playoff semifinal on New Year's day 2018 against Alabama.
It's going to be an unreal matchup, with both teams having star power everywhere. There's going to be multiple first-round picks from this upcoming draft class, including Clemson swiss army knife Isaiah Simmons, as well as projected number one overall pick Joe Burrow of LSU. Even the 2021 class is well represented, with guys like Trevor Lawrence and Je'Marr Chase.
In this piece, I'm going to be going over a couple of keys for each team and give you guys an X-Factor for both teams. Ultimately, I'll be giving my prediction for the game and some of you guys might be surprised and even disagree with me. Guess what? I don't care, it's my opinion, you don't have to agree with me. Let's get into it.
LSU Keys to the Game
Apply Pressure to Trevor Lawrence
Trevor Lawrence is a phenomenal talent and is likely to go number one overall in 2021. He has yet to lose a college game, but he's had a couple of close calls this season. What I've noticed is that you have to try and make him uncomfortable. I expect LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda to send creative blitz packages and stunts to try and mess with Lawrence. LSU's front four isn't star-studded, but K'lavon Chaisson is a quality prospect and someone who could have a huge impact on the game.
Get Clyde Edwards-Helaire Going Early
Clyde Edwards-Helaire is pivotal to the success of the Tigers offense. He was extremely limited last week due to an injury but looks ready to roll for the title game. His replacement Chris Curry played well against Oklahoma, but I think I could've rushed for over 100 yards against the Sooners. Expect LSU to try and establish Edwards-Helaire early and often. Whether that's on the ground, or through the air in the screen game. If they can get him going early, that could spell big trouble for Clemson.
Clemson Keys to the Game
Read Option with Trevor Lawrence
Lawrence struggled early on against Ohio State's great defense. While LSU's defense isn't as good as the Buckeyes, they have arguably the best secondary in college football, with three future first-round picks in the back end. Receivers aren't going to be open often, which means he's going to have to use his legs. He was extremely effective on the ground in the Semifinal and will need to be a force on the ground again if Clemson has any chance of winning.
Limiting Big Plays
Easier said than done here. LSU's offense might be the greatest offense in the history of college football. They do everything extremely well and they don't make mistakes. LSU's offense is full of guys who are explosive and can make big plays at the snap of a finger. Clemson probably won't be able to stop the offense, but if they can limit big plays, that gives them a huge boost to their chances of winning another National Title.
LSU X-Factor: K'Lavon Chaisson
I discussed Chaisson a little bit earlier. I believe he's the key to the LSU defense. He's going to be tasked with stopping the Clemson run game and trying to get pressure on Trevor Lawrence. Clemson has a pretty good O-Line with a lot of experience, so it won't be an easy task for him. However, if he's able to make a couple of big plays, LSU has a good shot of taking home their first Natty since 2007.
Clemson X-Factor: Isaiah Simmons
I feel like this is a cop-out because of how incredibly talented Simmons is. However, LSU's offense is so damn good, that I think Simmons qualifies as an X-Factor. He NEEDS to play well. Simmons has to make an impact like he's done so many times this season including the Semis when he picked off Justin Fields. If he's able to force at least one turnover and wreak havoc all over the field, Clemson can win the game.
I'm getting pretty good at this predicting thing. Everyone's talking about how this is going to be a close game. I don't think it's close. LSU has run over everyone in their way and while Clemson is the best team they will face all year, it won't matter. Joe Burrow will throw for four touchdowns, Derrick Stingley Jr. and Kristian Fulton will both pick off Trevor Lawrence and LSU will cruise to a National title that Coach O deserves. GEAUX TIGERS!!!
Prediction: LSU 49 Clemson 24