In a contest that has the potential of becoming the greatest college football game ever played, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana will become the center of the football universe, as millions will tune in to watch the first National Championship game of the new decade.
For both LSU and Clemson, more will be at stake aside from a chance at winning a National Championship; the chance at making history will also serve as motivation. What will mostly define this contest, is the amount of incredible talent that will take the field on Monday, January 13th. It is more than likely, a majority of players in this contest, will find themselves on an NFL team. For the time being, all that matters is the moment to shine on the biggest stage collegiate sport has to offer.
LSU Quarterback Joe Burrow
The Joe Burrow's 2019 season will go down in history, as one of the greatest ever for a college football player. His record-breaking eight touchdowns against the Oklahoma Sooners in the Peach Bowl, is a mark that is likely to stay for a while. For Burrow, this game presents an opportunity to shatter several college football records. To start, there is the all-time season mark for completion percentage, which he currently sits ahead its previous owner Colt McCoy from the 2008 season. In addition, Burrow on pace to breaking former
Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan's single-season touchdown mark, which he set in 2006 with 58; Burrow sits at 55. If Clemson's defense front is incapable of making him uncomfortable in the pocket, expect Burrow to find his favorite targets often.
Clemson Quarterback Trevor Lawrence
With much of the attention surrounding Joe Burrow, it was easy to forget that a year ago, Trevor Lawrence led his Clemson Tigers to a National title, by routing Nick Saban's undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide. What is not easy to forget is that how Clemson has yet to lose a game since taking over the starting quarterback position in week 5 of the 2018 season. As is the case with Burrow, Lawrence can also make history, becoming the first quarterback to win back-to-back National Championships in his first two collegiate years. One thing we have come to learn about Lawrence after his performance in this year's Fiesta Bowl, the greater the stakes, the better he rises to the occasion.
LSU Receiver Justin Jefferson
Last year's Peach Bowl introduced the nation to the once two-star recruit out of Destrehan Louisiana. Justin Jefferson used his stage to set the college playoff record for receiving yards and touchdowns in just one half on that day. For much of the season, Jefferson was overshadowed by the playmaking of fellow receiver Ja'Marr Chase. Yet that performance served as a reminder that his playmaking abilities should never be ignored.
Clemson Running Back Travis Etienne Jr.
No player has the ability to affect the game in a multitude of ways, as Travis Etienne Jr. has done throughout his collegiate career. As a running back, his vision and breakaway speed should present issues for LSU's linebacker in open space. As a receiver, he possesses natural hands, and has demonstrated a keen ability to get substantial yards after a catch. In the Fiesta bowl against a stout Ohio State defense, Etienne Jr. accounted for 134 total yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner late in the contest. Coming into this contest, Etienne Jr. has a chance of becoming Clemson's all-time leader in rushing yards, sitting only six rushing yards behind current holder, Raymond Priester. For the LSU defense, neutralizing Etienne Jr. will be a major key to victory in this contest.