LSU vs. Clemson: What to watch for in the national championship game
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Here's a glimpse into the national championship game as LSU and Clemson get set to take the field Monday in New Orleans.

Need-to-know info

Time: 8 p.m. ET

Venue: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans


Last meeting: Clemson 25 - LSU 24 on Dec. 31, 2012 in Atlanta (Peach Bowl)

All-time series: LSU leads 2-1

What to watch for

Can anyone slow down Joe Burrow?

In what amounted to a dress rehearsal for Monday's title-decider, Joe Burrow put forth the most prolific single-game performance by a quarterback in bowl game history. He torched Oklahoma to the tune of 493 passing yards and eight total touchdowns (seven passing, one rushing) in the Peach Bowl, and he didn't play the full four quarters.

Burrow has completed more than 70% of his throws in every game this season and looks to have only gotten better as the year has progressed.

His task in New Orleans is a tougher one. Clemson has arguably college football's best pass defense. The Tigers have held opposing quarterbacks to a 52.1% completion rate, nine touchdowns, and 19 interceptions. They picked off Ohio State's Justin Fields twice in the Fiesta Bowl; Fields threw one interception during the regular season.

How will Clemson utilize the quarterback run game?

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Trevor Lawrence was good through the air against Ohio State, but he stood out most for his rushing exploits.

The sophomore quarterback ran for 107 yards and a touchdown on 16 attempts. He didn't have more than 11 attempts or 66 yards in a single regular-season game.

Lawrence was clearly feeling good, and the added element helped the Tigers overcome a slow start to win 29-23. Will it work again Monday?

Here's a look at how opposing signal-callers have fared on the ground against LSU this season.

Quarterback Team Attempts Yards TD
Shai Werts Georgia Southern 6 -7 0
Sam Ehlinger Texas 19 60 1
Shelton Eppler Northwestern State 1 4 0
Riley Neal Vanderbilt 6 -4 0
Jordan Love Utah State 2 -8 0
Kyle Trask Florida 10 21 0
Garrett Shrader Mississippi State 19 66 1
Bo Nix Auburn 9 -16 1
Tua Tagovailoa Alabama 3 -5 0
John Rhys Plumlee Mississippi 21 212 4
KJ Jefferson Arkansas 12 0 0
Kellen Mond Texas A&M 12 -8 0
Jake Fromm Georgia 5 -4 0
Jalen Hurts Oklahoma 14 43 2

Will championship experience matter?

LSU was the newcomer to the College Football Playoff and is playing for a national title for the first time since 2011.

Clemson is in the title game for the second consecutive season and fourth time in five years. A victory would mark Dabo Swinney's third national championship.

Swinney, then, has more big-game experience than Ed Orgeron. But Orgeron has handled every challenge with composure this season.

One of the subplots Monday will be whether championship experience matters when it comes to making snap decisions in crucial moments.

Players to watch

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LSU: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (1,304 yards, 16 TDs)

Edwards-Helaire didn't have to do much against Oklahoma as he dealt with a hamstring injury, carrying the ball two times for 14 yards. The two-week break between the semifinal and championship game should serve him as well as anyone. Remember, Edwards-Helaire scored three touchdowns in the win over Alabama in November.

Clemson: RB Travis Etienne (1,536 yards, 18 TDs)

Etienne also had a quiet semifinal, rushing for 36 yards on 10 carries in the Fiesta Bowl - his lowest output in two years. But the junior has averaged 8 yards per carry for the season, and his production will be essential if Clemson wants to keep up with LSU's offense.

LSU vs. Clemson: What to watch for in the national championship game
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