Football fans would probably fancy a day or two to process the mayhem that ensued during the NFL's Divisional Round this weekend, but that's not how this time of the year works for supporters of America's game.
LSU and Clemson are set to slug it out on Monday night with a national championship on the line. This is essentially a home game for Ed Orgeron as the contest will be played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Therefore, its no surprise that LSU is favored to win, but would we really be surprised if Clemson out-witted them? Let's highlight a few ways that the SEC champs can blow it against their ACC counterparts.
3. Asking Joe Burrow to Do it All
Hear us out for a second. Joe Burrow might be fresh off throwing for 493 yards and 7 touchdowns, but that came against an Oklahoma defense that is MILES worse than that of Clemson's. Dabo Swinney's unit is fast, intelligent, and powerful at all levels. Burrow won't have close to the freedom he had against the Sooners. Asking the Heisman Trophy winner to drop back 40 or more times could prove costly for LSU. Mark our words: Clemson will be ready to make things semi-difficult for the future top pick.
2. Failing to Contain Trevor Lawrence As a Runner
Ohio State did an exceptional job of hindering Clemson's passing game in the Semifinals. If not for Etienne compiling chunk yardage on screens, Trevor Lawrence would have thrown for a measly 161 yards. The difference in the game, however, came down to the QB sensation being utterly unstoppable with his legs. Lawrence showed that he is more than capable of taking a game over when defenses game plan to bottle up his receivers. If LSU fails to deploy a spy (or two) on Lawrence, they will severely regret it.
1. Not Preparing For Travis Etienne in the Passing Game
If LSU doesn't learn from Ohio State's deadly mistake to contain Etienne as a receiver out of the backfield, it might be game over. Clemson's star RB only hauled in three passes against the Buckeyes, but they went for a whopping 98 yards and two touchdowns. Given Etienne's staggering ability to take any play to the house, we sincerely hope (for LSU's sake) that the Tigers devised schemes to bottle him up. Crippling the run game simply won't be enough against Swinney's savvy.