Home Featured Teams LSU Tigers LSU’s High-Powered Offense Clashes with Stingy Clemson Defense

LSU’s High-Powered Offense Clashes with Stingy Clemson Defense

Photo Credit: LSU Tigers on NOLA.com

Something’s going to give on Jan. 13 in what figures to be a riveting clash of two tremendous units. The national championship game from New Orleans will be a fascinating battle between the No. 1 offense (LSU) and the No. 1 defense (Clemson) in the country.

If high-powered LSU (14-0) is going to cap off a storybook season with their first national title since 2007, they’ll have to conquer the dominating defense of defending champion Clemson (14-0).

In the semifinals of the College Football Playoff, No. 1 LSU routed Oklahoma 63-28 (Peach Bowl) and No. 3 Clemson rallied for a 29-23 victory vs. No. 2 Ohio State (Fiesta Bowl).

In the convincing victory, LSU’s Heisman Trophy quarterback Joe Burrow passed for 493 yards and tied a bowl record with seven touchdown passes, while also adding another score on the ground. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson had 14 catches for 227 yards and tied a bowl record with 4 touchdown receptions.

After going down 16-0, a determined Clemson defense held Ohio State to seven points for the remainder of the game. Isaiah Simmons and Nolan Turner each had an interception. Chad Smith led Clemson with 12 tackles.

The explosive LSU offense leads the nation in points per game (48.9) while the pesky Clemson defense is tops in points allowed per game (11.5).

LSU has scored a whopping 684 points this season, second all time to only 2013 national champion Florida State. Meanwhile, Clemson has held opponents under 20 points in 12 of their 14 games.

Burrow, who has amassed 5,208 yards and 55 touchdowns through the air, will go up against a Clemson defense that allows 138.5 passing yards.

LSU has a pair of receivers with 18 touchdowns apiece in Jefferson (102 receptions, 1,434 yards) and Ja’Marr Chase (75 receptions, 1,559 yards). LSU receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. has 12 touchdown receptions. LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire has rushed for 1,304 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Clemson has totaled 41 sacks and forced eight fumbles. Simmons leads Clemson with 97 tackles and 6 sacks. Simmons is also second on Clemson with 4 interceptions. Clemson has snagged 19 interceptions, led by Tanner Muse (4).

LSU has the home field advantage in the Superdome but is aware of the task at hand against a program that has won two of the last three national titles. Clemson enters riding a 29-game winning streak, sixth-longest in college football history, according to USA Today.

“We have one more game left,” Jefferson said to The New York Times. “We’re going to go in these next two weeks focused, ready to go, and, I mean, dominate the next matchup that we face.”

LSU seeks to make amends for the last time they competed in the national title game, a 21-0 loss to Alabama at the Superdome in 2011.

With the championship on the line, LSU coach Ed Orgeron believes the state of Louisiana will be “on fire” for this epic matchup. The rabid support is certain to make for a rocking environment in the Bayou.

However, Orgeron fully intends to make sure LSU properly channel their emotions when it’s time for kickoff. If LSU plays to their capabilities, there’ll be a lifetime to reflect on the monumental accomplishment.

“We have to be ready to play our best football game,” Orgeron said to The New York Times. “All those things on the perimeter are nice. Just like in a fight, when you get hit with the first punch, all that stuff goes out the window and you’ve got to play football.”