College Football Playoff Preview
By: Kenneth Harrison
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
We are in the sixth year of the College Football Playoff.
The top four teams have been picked and I think this is the first year where the committee had an easy decision selecting all of the teams. We are going to preview the playoff games.
Both games will be played December 28. No. 1 LSU (13–0) versus No 4. Oklahoma (12–1) in the Peach Bowl.
The Tigers return to Atlanta after trouncing No. 4 Georgia in the SEC Championship. LSU is led by the clear Heisman Trophy front-runner Joe Burrow.
Burrow is the best quarterback I’ve seen at LSU in the past 25 years. This program is notorious for having poor QB play, so they are really enjoying this because I do not think they will be in this position again anytime soon.
Burrow has thrown for over 4,700 yards, 48 touchdowns, 6 interceptions with a 93.7 QBR (2nd).
Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire has rushed for nearly 1,300 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also has 50 receptions for 400 yards so he makes plays all over the field.
Receivers Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase both have over 1,200 receiving yards with double digit TD’s.
The Tigers are ranked 32nd nationally in total defense.
This is Oklahoma’s third straight playoff appearance and they are looking for their first win.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts transferred from Alabama, so he’s played against LSU the last three seasons. He won’t be intimidated and their defense is not as good as they previously were.
Hurts is the epitome of a dual threat, passing for over 3,600 yards, 32 touchdowns, 7 picks and a QBR of 90.6 (4th). Hurts also ran for more than 1,200 yards, 18 TD’s and he averages 5.7 yards per carry.
CeeDee Lamb is his top target and big play threat. OU is 24th in total defense.
This game should be high scoring and both offenses should play well. Hurts has a bad habit of turning the ball over and I don’t see this game being any different. That will help LSU win by double digits.
No. 2 Ohio State (13–0) plays No. 3 Clemson (13–0) in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Az.
Both teams are led by highly recruited quarterbacks from Georgia. They were also finalists in the 2017 Elite 11 with Justin Fields finishing first and Trevor Lawrence finishing second.
Fields has thrown for almost 3,000 yards, 40 TD’s, 1 interception and his QBR is 92.4 (3rd). I must admit I’ve been labeled an ‘OSU hater’ by a friend of mine because I give an honest opinion of Fields and last year Dwayne Haskins.
I watch the Buckeyes regularly and notice that quarterbacks typically throw short passes like slants, screens and crossing routes. The receivers get massive yards after catch, which makes the QB’s stats look good.
Running back J.K. Dobbins has rushed for over 1,800 yards, 20 TD’s and he averages 6.5 ypc. The defense ranks second in total D.
Clemson is the defending national champion and they have been disrespected all year. Lawrence played poorly for the first month of the season with several multiple interception games. He finished the year with 8 picks but he improved.
Receiver Tee Higgins and running back Travis Etienne are going to be first round picks in this year’s draft. The Tigers defense is the best in the nation in total defense.
This should be a close game but Clemson will win. The Tigers of LSU and Clemson will meet in the national championship.