(3) Clemson vs. (1) LSU
Time: 7 PM CT (ESPN)
CFP National Championship
Spread: LSU -5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The No. 1 ranked LSU Tigers defeated No. 4 Oklahoma 63-28 to advance to the National Championship game. LSU encounters Clemson as 5-point favorites at 7 PM (CST) Monday on ESPN. College football oddsmakers at 5dimes have set the point total at 66.5 for the game.
LSU is 14-0 this season and is the favorite to win the NCAA championship with oddsmakers setting the line 5-point in favor of the Tigers. LSU ranked No. 2 in the nation in passing yards on the strength of Joe Burrow. LSU averaged 397.2 yards per game while scoring 48.9 points per game (No. 24). LSU limited its opponents to 21.2 per game, good for a differential of +27.2 points.
Burrow threw for 5,208 yards this season with a 77.6 percent completion ratio. He amassed 55 touchdown passes with just six interceptions, and he was sacked 29 times (2.0 per game) for a total loss of 185 yards. Burrow’s passer rating is 204.6. His top-two targets were Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson. Chase had 1,559 yards on the season and 18 touchdowns, while Jefferson led in total catches (102) and ranked No. 2 in yardage with 1,434 and 18 touchdowns, as well. No. 3 wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. caught just 43 for 625 yards, but he had 12 TD catches. Tight end Thaddeus Moss ranked No. 4 in yardage with 534 yards on 42 catches with two touchdowns.
LSU’s rush attack was the work of Burrow and No. 1 running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Burrow averaged 3.1 yards-per-carry on his 101 attempts, while Edwards-Helaire topped 6.6 yards-per-carry on his 199 attempts for 1,304 yards and 16 touchdowns. Tyrion Davis-Price attempted just 64 carries but averaged 4.6 yards-per-attempt for 285 yards and a second-best six touchdowns. LSU totaled 31 rushing touchdowns on the season, with John Emery Jr. contributing four on his 39 rushes this season. The Tigers averaged 4.9 yards-per-attempt as a team.
Kicker Cade York was an accurate threat this season. He connected on 83 of 87 PATs and hit 21 of 26 field goals. He was a perfect 12 of 12 inside the 40.
Clemson, like its opponent, is a perfect 14-0 this season. The Tigers balanced its attack between a No. 19 pass offense and No. 11 ranked rush attack. Clemson generated 292.2 passing yards per game while adding another 246.1 via the rush. Its offense ranked No. 60 in scoring 45.3 points per game while holding opponents to just 10.6 per game, a differential of +34.7 points.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the NCAA. He averaged 5.5 yards-per-carry on 93 attempts for 514 yards and eight touchdowns, and he did his damage throwing too. Lawrence completed 67.6 percent of his looks at an average of 9.3 yards-per-completion, en route to 3,431 yards and 36 touchdowns, with just eight interceptions.
Lawrence was sacked just 15 times (1.0 per game) for a total loss of 120 yards and his passer rating is 173.2. His top target was wide receiver Tee Higgins who caught 56 passes for 1,115 yards and 13 touchdowns. Justyn Ross ranked No. 1 in receptions (61) and No. 2 in yardage (789) and No. 2 in touchdowns (8). Lead-rusher Travis Etienne functions well as a receiver too, with 32 catches for 396 yards and four touchdowns. Etienne rushed a team-high 192 times for 1,536 yards while averaging over eight yards-per-carry with 18 rushing touchdowns.
No. 2 rusher Lyn-J Dixon rushed just 103 times but averaged 6.2 yards-per-carry and finished No. 3 in touchdowns with six. Lawrence ranked No. 2 in rushing touchdowns with eight. Clemson rushed for 42 touchdowns while scoring 40 via passing plays. Clemson’s balance served it well this year, though it did not rank in the top overall offenses. The Tigers had a good variance to control the clock while limiting opponents to just over 10 per game and it is hoping that same M.O. is enough to overcome top-ranked LSU.