2020 CFP National Championship Game Preview

Written by: Andre Viljoen
Updated October 14, 2022
7 min read

How to Watch

Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA

When: Monday, January 13th at 8pm EST

How (TV): ESPN

Clemson Tigers

Head Coach: Dabo Swinney{All-Time: 130-30 | CLEM}

Record: 14-0

The Clemson Tigers enter this game looking to become the first school to win consecutive national championships in the playoff era. With the nation’s best scoring defines, which has given up just 11.5 points per game, Dabo Swinney’s squad is well equipped to take on LSU’s explosive passing attack. Having proven themselves against a strong Ohio State team in their semi-final, a win over the Bayou Bengals should not be seen as an upset.

Clemson took down the Buckeyes 29-23 in Arizona, despite coughing up 516 yards to Ohio State. Many Buckeye fans will look back at this game as one filled with officiating mistakes, as Clemson took advantage of a targeting penalty, a roughing the punter call, and an overturned fumble. Running back Travis Etienne found the end zone three times while totaling over 100 yards of scrimmage.

Clemson’s defense did their part to neutralize Heisman finalist Justin Fields, as safety Nolan Turner and linebacker Isaiah Simmons picked off the Ohio State quarterback who had thrown just one interception during the regular season. The Tigers also sacked Fields four times, with redshirt sophomore linebacker Baylon Spector tallying half of that total.

LSU Tigers

Head Coach: Ed Orgeron {All-Time: 55-36 | MISS, USC, LSU}

Record: 14-0

2007 feels like an eternity ago for LSU fans, however, their Tigers are one win away from celebrating their fourth national championship. With the title game being a 90-minute drive from their campus, LSU should get a nice boost in terms of home-field advantage. With Heisman winner Joe Burrow and his trio of explosive receivers, the Tigers are well armed to overcome Clemson’s stout defense.

Coach Ed Orgeron’s team took no prisoners in the semi-final against Oklahoma, blowing out the Sooners 63-28 in Atlanta. Burrow put up video game level numbers, throwing for 493 yards and seven touchdowns, while also running in for a score. Junior receiver Justin Jefferson caught 14 passes for 227 yards and four touchdowns, while fellow receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. caught a pair of touchdown throws from Burrow. Biletnikoff Award winner Ja’Marr Chase was quiet that game, catching just two passes for 61 yards.

The Tigers’ defense made a statement after being criticized for a good chunk of the season, limiting Heisman finalist Jalen Hurts to 217 yards in the air, no passing touchdowns, and 43 rushing yards. All-SEC linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson sacked Hurts twice while junior safety Kary Vincent Jr. picked Hurts off to contribute the lone turnover of the game. Overall, the Tigers limited Oklahoma to 322 total yards of offense, more than 200 yards less than their season average of 537.8.

Clemson vs LSU All-Time Series

LSU and Clemson have played each other three times prior to Monday’s showdown, with each game being bowl matchups (the 2012 Chick-Fil-A Bowl, 1996 Peach Bowl, and 1959 Sugar Bowl). LSU holds a 2-1 advantage in this brief series, however, Clemson won the most recent meeting in 2012 25-24 in Atlanta. Notable Clemson players from that game include starting quarterback Tajh Boyd, and receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Adam Humphries. LSU’s roster featured NFL stars Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, and Eric Reid among others.

Clemson Roster Notes

There are no injuries or roster changes to report for Clemson.

LSU Roster Notes

Senior linebacker Michael Divinity Jr. is expected to be available after being away from the team for several weeks.

Senior offensive tackle Damien Lewis is listed as questionable with an ankle injury that he suffered in the Peach Bowl.

CFP Facts and Figures

How Much Are Tickets to the CFP Championship Game?

As of this writing, the cheapest ticket available on Stubhub is $817 in the third deck of the Superdome. Fans looking for tickets in the second deck can expect to pay between $1,400-$1,800, while lower bowl seats will cost between $1,300-$1,700 on the resale market.

How Have Heisman Trophy Winners Fared in the CFP Championship Game?

With the College Football Playoff beginning in 2014, the sample size is pretty limited, with just two Heisman winners playing in the Championship game (not including Joe Burrow who will be the third on Monday). Those two Heisman winners are 1-1 in the title game, with Oregon’s Marcus Mariota losing to Ohio State in the inaugural championship in 2014, and Alabama’s Derrick Henry winning the following year.

How Many Heisman Winners Have Won National Championships in the Same Season?

Including the aforementioned Henry, 15 players have managed to win both the Heisman and National Championship in the same season. There have been cases where championship games were won by past or future Heisman, i.e. Chris Weinke winning the 2000 Heisman and the 1999 National Championship, however, the table below focuses on those who accomplished the feat in the same season.

Year Heisman Winner School
1938 QB Davey O’Brien TCU
1940 RB Bruce Smith Minnesota
1943 QB Angelo Bertelli Notre Dame
1945 RB Felix “Doc” Blanchard Army
1947 QB John Lujack Notre Dame
1949 TE/DE Leon Hart Notre Dame
1976 RB Tony Dorsett Pittsburgh
1993 QB Charlie Ward Florida State
1996 QB Danny Wuerffel Florida
1997 CB Charles Woodson Michigan
2004 QB Matt Leinart USC
2009 RB Mark Ingram Alabama
2010 QB Cam Newton Auburn
2013 QB Jameis Winston Florida State
2015 RB Derrick Henry Alabama

Have Two Teams Named “The Tigers” Ever Played Each Other in the NCAAF National Championship Game?

Ever since the NCAA implemented a national championship game in 1992, there has never been a single instance where the two contenders shared a team nickname. This has been due to many champions over the years carrying unique names such as the Alabama Crimson Tide, Florida State Seminoles, and Miami Hurricanes.

What Are Some Interesting Prop Bets Available for the CFP Championship?

Betonline currently has a vast array of props outside of simple over/under, player stats, and parlays. Many of these props are celebrity related, with examples being “will Drake be shown during the broadcast” as well as “will President Trump tweet during the game?” (one of several Trump props for those interested).

Other props are related to mentions on ESPN’s broadcast such as Clemson’s 29 game winning streak, and Joe Burrow’s Heisman victory, while others will bleed into other sports such as Burrow’s pass completions exceeding LeBron James’ point total against the Cleveland Cavaliers that same night.

Clemson vs LSU Predictions and Odds

The latest odds for Clemson vs LSU are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook, 888Sport NJ, and Caesars NJ.

Money Line

Sportsbook Clemson LSU
888Sport NJ +180 -245
DraftKings +190 -220
Caesars NJ -+185 -220

Bet On NCAA Football With These NJ Sportsbooks

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Andre Viljoen

College Basketball Betting Analyst

Betting Picks
Andre has been writing for WSN since February 2019, covering college basketball and college football. A graduate of Florida State and UNC-Chapel Hill, he lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. When he is not writing, he enjoys playing sports and Magic: The Gathering.
Nationality: American
Education: N/A
Favourite Sportsbook: Borgata Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: PlayStar Casino
8 years
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