By Sullivan Burgess ’20
This year in the 2019 College Football Playoffs, the no. 2 Clemson University Tigers (13-0) will win the National Championship in Santa Clara, California. While the road ahead may be tough, the Tigers have the tools and skills to be victorious at the end of the season.
In their first matchup of the playoffs at the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas, the Tigers will face the University of Notre Dame, who is the no. 3 seed at 12-0 this season. Meanwhile, on the other side at the Orange Bowl, the No. 1 seed University of Alabama will face the no. 4 seed University of Oklahoma.
While the game against the Fighting Irish will be tough, the Tigers will ultimately succeed. Clemson’s offense and defense have been unstoppable this season, with six potential NFL first round picks next year.
Though they were off to a slow start, the now-starting quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, has proven to be a threat one game at a time, adjusting quickly to any situation at hand, ultimately increasing their confidence. This season, Clemson has scored at least 27 points or more in all 13 of their games.
On the defensive side of the field, the Tigers are allowing the least amounts of yards per games in the country, at 2.40 yards. Their defensive backs have been nothing but quick in their strategy which allows them to beat their opponents. Clemson has managed to force nine interceptions this season.
The Tigers’ defensive line has been the best in all of college football. Clemson as a team is third in the country in sacks with 45.
Against a team like Notre Dame, who has no down field threats, Clemson’s front seven will be looking for them to run, which only plays into the Tigers’ strength. Teams have averaged 93 rushing yards per game against Clemson, which is third lowest in college football.
Notre Dame’s offensive line will need help against the strong pass rush, which will cause their tight ends to come in to block, freeing up the Tigers’ linebackers to make plays.
After defeating Notre Dame, the Tigers would look to take on Alabama for the third time in the last four years. In 2016, Alabama defeated Clemson 45-40 in the championship game, then one year later Clemson came back and won 35-31.
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, hurt his ankle against the University of Georgia in the Southeastern Conference Championship, allowing Jalen Hurts to return to the starting lineup and rally back from a 21-point Georgia lead.
Overall, these are two well-coached teams with good quarterbacks and defensive threats that can pressure offense. They both will prove to be extraordinary football teams, but Clemson will win for the second time in the last four years.