LSU Out-Tigers Clemson for the CFP Title
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Somehow, Dabo Swinney has gotten lotsa mileage outta Clemson's 'lower' CFP ranking to fire up his Tigers.
Really, exactly who did the defending national champion Tigers' coach think he was fooling?
Then again, all appearances are dude clearly bought into the concept himself, and he wasn't fooling.
Clemson was the underdog in this game, Swinney knew it, and LSU proceeded to prove it by boat-racing them, 42-25.
The first clues that dude foretold the oncoming storm were glaring during Clemson's first possession. He was already reaching into his bag of tricks:
- He called a hook-&-ladder on the first play that unfolded slowly enough that LSU's defense saw it coming.
- Not long after, he called a play where the o-line stayed set while the everyone else went out into patterns; that one worked for a good gain, enough to decline the startled LSU offside infraction.
The one that worked best was vanilla by cmparison: a reverse to speedster Tee Higgins.
It went for a 36-yard TD:
These bells and whistles kept the Bayou Bengal defense guessing, giving Trevor Lawrence more moments to deploy the sorta plays that really accounted for their 29-game winning streak coming into this CFP championship game.
They helped jet Clemson into a 17-7 lead, which was a new experience for LSU this season.
As he's done all season, Joe Burrow was spectacular enough to become mythical in his own lifetime.
Look at those all-purpose numbers:
The Ohio native's not the only one, either.
The Bayou Bengals' wealth of weapons ranks with any phenomenal team's in college football history:
- WRs Ja'Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, Terrance Marshall Jr, and Thaddeus Moss are speedy dudes who run accurate routes, and have super-glue hands;
- RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire -- 16 carries, 110 yards -- is a cross between a whirling dervish and a bowling ball; and
- This season's best offensive line making it all possible.
LSU's best defender is freshman Derek Stingley Jr, and he'll surely return for 2020 when it's highly possible Ed Orgeron will lean on his defense like he did his offense this season. Odds are he'll see an exodus of his offensive players to the NFL draft, but even if they returned, it'd be difficult to imagine a season like this happening again.
It was just a perfect storm.
Clemson's already reloaded for next season, and with Lawrence returning, they'll have better odds than LSU of returning to the title game again next season.
Look for them to get back to thunderstriking real soon.