The Clemson football team will take on the LSU Tigers in the National Championship. Here’s a look at LSU’s win in the Peach Bowl.
The Clemson football team defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl in what was an instant classic.
The Tigers found a way to come through when it mattered most, advancing to the National Championship game for a fourth time in the last five seasons.
Unlike the first four trips to the National Championship game, the Clemson football program will face a different opponent this time around.
The LSU Tigers (14-0) absolutely boat raced the Oklahoma Sooners in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, defeating the Sooners by a final score of 63-28.
Here’s some of our observations from that Peach Bowl victory as we begin preparing for the upcoming National Championship.
- Jalen Hurts was too timid
One of the first areas you look when trying to identify a championship team is at the quarterback position. Jalen Hurts was one of the greatest stories of the 2019 College Football season, but he was way too timid last Saturday against LSU.
He had wide receivers open at times, but couldn’t find them or couldn’t put the ball on the money. Too many times, Hurts scrambled out of the pocket and just ended up throwing the ball away instead of trying to make a play.
He relied too much on his legs and didn’t trust his arm. That’s not a recipe for success against a team that was bringing pressure.
- Joe Burrow can beat you in multiple ways
On the other sideline was Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow. Burrow benefited from soft Oklahoma coverage, but you have to give him credit: He made the plays.
Burrow made some impressive throws- a few on the run- but it’s not just his arm that Clemson football has to defend.
On almost 50 percent of his runs this season, Burrow has moved the chains. The quarterback isn’t afraid to take off when the middle opens up to pick up those 7, 8 or 9 yards to keep the chains moving.
- Oklahoma got too cute
Oklahoma’s defense couldn’t slow down the LSU offense, but the Sooner offense could’ve certainly scored more points had they not got too cute and had Hurts played a little less conservative.
Instead of just running their offense, Oklahoma tried multiple flea flickers and a fake-reverse in the first half.
The Sooners clearly didn’t have the confidence that they could line up and move the ball, so they resorted to window dressing that did absolutely nothing but give LSU extra momentum.
- LSU’s WR core is deep and talented
Out of the position groups across the field, the group I was most impressed with for LSU- other than Burrow, of course- was that wide receiver group.
The Tiger offense isn’t predicated on longshots or receivers going one-on-one. They like to line up with 4-wide or 5-wide sets and find the hole in the coverage. The wide receivers will sit in the opening and Burrow will get the ball out quick. They’ll take seven, eight yards at a time, then they’ll take a shot down the field once the defense comes up.
- There are some holes
Despite the talent that LSU possesses, there are some holes when looking at the Tigers. LSU’s defense has played better as of late, but the DBs were beaten by Oklahoma at times at Hurts just didn’t exploit it.
LSU has a talented group of wide receivers, as we said, but they don’t have that big 6-foot-4, 210 pound guy who can ‘muscle-up’ defenders. Instead, they rely on play-makers and speed. It should be pointed out that Jefferson and Terrace Marshall Jr. are 6-foot-4, but they aren’t 210-plus pounds like a Justyn Ross or Tee Higgins.
Getting back to that LSU secondary, their safeties aren’t great in coverage. They’re much better in run-support than they are at covering wide receivers, which could be an advantage for the Tigers, especially in the slot.
That Tiger defensive front-seven is talented, but they’re not on the level of Ohio State. Clemson should be able to establish more of a run game with Travis Etienne this time around as they look to put up some points and slowdown that prolific offense.