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Wayne Staats | NCAA.com | January 13, 2020

LSU vs. Clemson: Prediction, preview for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game

No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 1 LSU and Heisman winner Joe Burrow

LSU will play Clemson for the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship at 8 ET tonight, Monday, Jan. 13, in New Orleans. Below, get a prediction and preview for the showdown.

FOLLOW LIVE: Score, live updates for LSU vs. Clemson

Both teams are 14-0 going into the game. LSU is hoping to win its first CFP title (and first national title since the 2007 season, in the BCS era). Clemson is trying to win its second consecutive championship and third of the CFP era.

LSU vs. Clemson: Prediction, preview for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game

So, can anyone slow down LSU?

Shutting down the Tigers probably isn't possible. But can even mighty Clemson keep Heisman winner Joe Burrow in check?

In the 63-28 drubbing of Oklahoma in the CFP semifinals, Burrow went 29-for-39 for 493 yards and seven touchdowns (with another score on the ground). That upped his numbers to 5,208 passing yards with 55 touchdowns and only six interceptions for the season. Whew. His seven touchdown passes all came in the first half to tie the FBS record for touchdown passes in a bowl game (Central Michigan's Cooper Rush in the 2014 Bahamas Bowl).

Along with RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Burrow gets help from WRs Ja'Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson, who both have 18 receiving touchdowns this season.

That's...a lot to deal with.

But if one team can do it, Clemson is a top candidate. Not only are the Tigers the defending national champions, but they fought back from a 16-point deficit to rally past Ohio State in the semifinals, 29-23, with the defense turning things around after a rough start. Plus Clemson has its own offensive stars.

Trevor Lawrence had 259 passing yards and 107 rushing yards against OSU, with a ridiculous 67-yard touchdown run stunning the Buckeyes. Clemson also has RB Travis Etienne, who has more than 1,500 rushing yards on the season.

Expect another game to come down to the end, though LSU appears to have one edge: Burrow. The way this season has gone, LSU has played (and looked) better and better, no matter the test. Clemson will have to get pressure on Burrow — and it might not happen enough.

LSU's two BCS national titles came in New Orleans. Now LSU will add a CFP crown with another triumph in New Orleans.

The Pick LSU 35,
Clemson 31

TV SCHEDULE: Complete game times, TV channel information for every bowl game

LSU vs. Clemson: Stats, how they match up

LSU
STAT/LEADER CLEMSON
14-0 (8-0 SEC) Record (Conference) 14-0 (8-0 ACC)
No. 1 CFP ranking No. 3
48.9 Points per game 45.3
21.6 Points allowed 11.5
564.1 Yards per game 538.4
397.2 Passing ypg 292.2
166.9 Rushing ypg 246.1
339.9 Yards allowed per game 264.1
221.9 Passing yards allowed 151.5
118.0 Rushing yards allowed 112.6
Joe Burrow
5,208 yards (55 TDs, 6 INT)
Passing yards leader Trevor Lawrence
3,431 yards (36 TDs, 8 INT)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire
1,304 yards, 16 TDs
Rushing yards leader Travis Etienne
1,536 yards, 18 TDs
Ja'Marr Chase
1,559 yards, 18 TDs
Receiving yards leader Tee Higgins
1,115 yards, 13 TDs

College Football Playoff National Championship Game: Scores

YEAR WINNING TEAM SCORE LOSING TEAM LOCATION
2019 Clemson 44-16 Alabama Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California
2018 Alabama 26-23 Georgia Mercedes-Benz Stadium,
Atlanta
2017 Clemson 35-31 Alabama Raymond James Stadium,
Tampa, Fla.
2016 Alabama 45-40 Clemson University of Phoenix Stadium,
Glendale, Ariz.
2015 Ohio State 42-20 Oregon AT&T Stadium,
Arlington, Texas

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