After the thrilling College Football Playoff semifinal slate – that saw LSU dominate OU and Clemson comeback by 16 to narrowly beat OSU – most are expecting Coach O and LSU to walk out of New Orleans with a national title as the favorites… except somewhere, Dabo Sweeney and his golden QB Trevor Lawrence are smiling, since they would not have wanted it any other way.
As we saw on full display yesterday, LSU has a historically great offense, but Clemson does too.
Both teams have future NFL quarterbacks – and likely No. 1 picks – in Joe Burrow (LSU) and Trevor Lawrence (CLEM). Each team also has running backs who are crucial in the passing and running game, by the names of Travis Etienne (CLEM) and Clyde Edwards-Helaire (LSU). Let’s not forget that both teams have multiple elite receivers, and offensive lines who push their respective offenses over the top.
Talking statistics, Clemson has had 45.3 points per game this season compared to LSU having 48.9 points per game this season. That is a small difference (roughly a field goal) compared to Clemson haven given up about 11 points per game less then LSU on the defensive end.
As we can see, the gap between both offenses is not as large as many believe. On top of that, it is also clear that Clemson has a much better defense.
Clemson has given up on average only 11.3 points a game compared to LSU giving up 22.2 points per game this season. While many will focus on the obvious fact that Clemson has played worse opponents, it is true that against the best teams on their schedule like Texas A&M, they only gave up 10 points – or South Carolina who only had only 3. Clemson’s toughest regular season opponent Virginia had 17 points against Clemson. A team seen in the same tier as Virgina – the Texas Longhorns – had 38 points against LSU.
Overall, Clemson erased all doubts that they were just a beneficiary of a pillow-soft ACC schedule, as they took down a true powerhouse in the Buckeyes – arguably OSU’s most talented team in recent memory. Clemson’s resiliency after falling behind 16-0 early, showed just how good of a team they truly are.
Clemson’s comeback showed their strengths, and why they have won 29 straight games. They had 29 points to Ohio State’s 7 from that point on. It’s also key to remember the beginning stages of the game, where their defense kept them in the game with multiple goal-line stands.
Defense wins championships, and statistically Clemson even has a better defense this year – compared to their defense who shut down Alabama in the National Championship last season.
The Tigers from Clemson and Dabo Sweeney will continue their dominance and be put on a College Football pedestal after winning their third national championship, in four years – and second straight.
(P/C: Sports Illustrated – https://www.si.com/college/2019/12/29/clemson-beats-ohio-state-trevor-lawrence)