The Clemson football team fell short Monday night in a National Championship match-up with the LSU Tigers. Ultimately, it came down to one thing.
Clemson football fans have pinpointed several issues throughout the entirety of the National Championship loss to LSU Monday night.
As a matter of fact, there’s a whole onslaught of issues that occurred over the course of the night for Clemson football.
- The Tigers went 1-for-11 on Third Downs
- The defense tired out and couldn’t get off the field in critical 3rd-and-long situations
- Clemson’s offensive play-callers abandoned the running game
- The cornerbacks, in particular AJ Terrell, were beaten soundly
- Trevor Lawrence played one of the worst games of his career
- A few missed calls by the officials throughout the night
However, it ultimately came down to this simple fact: LSU made the plays and responded when it needed to, Clemson didn’t.
All of those things listed above are a culmination of this simple fact. Clemson had opportunities, especially early. The Tigers just weren’t able to capitalize.
Coming into this one, we had talked about how it could be another ‘heavyweight boxing match.’ We talked about how the winner of this game will take some punches, but they’ll respond with a few of their own, as well. Clemson simply didn’t respond.
Early in the game, the Tiger defense came away with two stops. Twice the offense couldn’t get anything going despite having good field position and getting in plus territory.
As the game progressed, Clemson actually accumulated a 10-point lead. But LSU answered and came roaring back with a big close to the first half. It seemed anytime that Clemson delivered a punch, LSU had a response. That just wasn’t the case on the other sideline.
Even in the second half, the Tigers had their chances. Clemson’s defense came up with a couple of early stops and the offense punched one in, but then couldn’t convert when they were needed most. Though the defensive unit came away with a few stops, they were ultimately unable to get off the field in some critical Third Down situations and that allowed LSU to keep its drive alive and, ultimately, score more points.
There are plenty of things that went against Clemson football in this one, but it ultimately comes down to one simple fact: LSU responded when it was hit in the mouth, Clemson didn’t.