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College football: Road to the championship

The College Football championship game between LSU and Clemson is set for Monday, Jan. 13. Here's a look at how both teams got to the big game.

 
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Aug. 29 - Clemson d. Georgia Tech, 52-14

Aug. 29 -  Clemson d. Georgia Tech, 52-14
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The defending national champs opened their season with a dominating ACC win over Georgia Tech. Running back Travis Etienne rushed for 205 yards and three touchdowns on only 12 carries.

 
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Aug. 31 - LSU d. Georgia Southern, 55-3

Aug. 31 - LSU d. Georgia Southern, 55-3
Derick E. Hingle / USA Today Sports Images

The Tigers season got off to a smashing start with a blowout home win against Georgia Southern. Joe Burrow commenced his Heisman campaign going 23-of-27 for 278 yards and five touchdowns.

 
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Sept. 7 - LSU d. Texas, 45-38

Sept. 7 - LSU d. Texas, 45-38
Ronald Cortes / USA Today Sports Images

LSU faced its first real challenge of the season on the road at Austin but was able to come away with a convincing seven-point win. Joe Burrow had his second consecutive huge stat line, throwing for 471 yards and four scores, and star wideout Justin Jefferson had 163 yards receiving and three scores.

 
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Sept. 7 - Clemson d. Texas A&M, 24-10

Sept. 7 - Clemson d. Texas A&M, 24-10
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Clemson's defense smothered the Aggies in an easy 24-10 win. Trevor Lawrence passed for 268 yards and one touchdown, adding another score on the ground.

 
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Sept. 14 - LSU d. Northwestern State, 65-14

Sept. 14 - LSU d. Northwestern State, 65-14
Derick E. Hingle / USA Today Sports Images

Northwestern State was no match for the Tigers in mid-September. LSU rolled to 3-0, as Joe Burrow was 21-of-24 passing for 373 yards and two scores, also adding one rushing touchdown.

 
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Sept. 14 - Clemson d. Syracuse, 41-6

Sept. 14 - Clemson d. Syracuse, 41-6
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Trevor Lawrence had his first big stats day of the season in a 41-6 win at Syracuse. The sophomore quarterback threw for 395 yards and three touchdowns, with an additional score on the ground.

 
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Sept. 21 - LSU d. Vanderbilt, 66-38

Sept. 21 - LSU d. Vanderbilt, 66-38
Christopher Hanewinckel / USA Today Sports Images

LSU opened its SEC schedule by embarrassing the Vanderbilt defense in Nashville. Joe Burrow was the catalyst with 398 yards passing and six touchdowns, and wideout Ja'Marr Chase contributed 10 receptions for 229 yards and four scores.

 
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Sept. 21 - Clemson d. Charlotte, 52-10

Sept. 21 - Clemson d. Charlotte, 52-10
Joshua S. Kelly / USA Today Sports Images

Clemson blew out Charlotte and got plenty of production from its bench. Three different quarterbacks threw passes for the Tigers, and three running backs scored in the game.

 
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Sept. 28 - Clemson d. North Carolina, 21-20

Sept. 28 - Clemson d. North Carolina, 21-20
Neil Redmond / USA Today Sports Images

The Tigers got their first scare of the year, holding off North Carolina, 21-20, after halting the Tar Heels' late two-point conversion attempt. Wideout Tee Higgins came up big, with six receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown.

 
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Oct. 5 - LSU d. Utah State, 42-6

Oct. 5 - LSU d. Utah State, 42-6
Derick E. Hingle / USA Today Sports Images

The vaunted Tigers defense held a talented Utah State offense to only six points in their blowout win. Joe Burrow threw for 344 yards and five touchdowns, with two scores going to wide receiver Justin Jefferson.

 
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Oct. 12 - LSU d. Florida, 42-28

Oct. 12 - LSU d. Florida, 42-28
Derick E. Hingle / USA Today Sports Images

LSU was able to easily beat Florida, ranked seventh in the country at the time. The game was tied 21-21 at halftime, but the Tigers defense stiffened in the second half. Joe Burrow was efficient, as usual, completing 21-of-24 passes for 293 yards and three scores. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire had 134 yards rushing and two touchdowns on only 13 carries, and wideout Ja'Marr Chase caught two touchdowns.

 
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Oct. 12 - Clemson d. Florida State, 45-14

Oct. 12 - Clemson d. Florida State, 45-14
Joshua S. Kelly / USA Today Sports Images

Clemson held the Seminoles scoreless in the first half en route to a 45-14 blowout win. Trevor Lawrence threw three touchdowns, two to Justyn Ross, and Travis Etienne rushed for 127 yards.

 
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Oct. 19 - LSU d. Mississippi State, 36-13

Oct. 19 - LSU d. Mississippi State, 36-13
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LSU went on the road and dominated the Mississippi State offense, holding it to only seven points before a late-game touchdown. Joe Burrow threw for 327 yards and four touchdowns.

 
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Oct. 19 - Clemson d. Louisville, 45-10

Oct. 19 - Clemson d. Louisville, 45-10
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Travis Etienne ran wild against Louisville, finishing the game with 192 yards and one score on 14 carries. Trevor Lawrence was able to overcome two interceptions by throwing three touchdown passes in the big win for Clemson.

 
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Oct. 26 - LSU d. Auburn, 23-20

Oct. 26 - LSU d. Auburn, 23-20
Chuck Cook / USA Today Sports Images

Despite winning by only three points, LSU outgained the Auburn offense 508 to 287 in a game that wasn't nearly as close as the final score indicates. Joe Burrow threw for 321 yards and one score, while running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire was a workhorse with 26 carries for 136 yards and one score.

 
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Oct. 26 - Clemson d. Boston College, 59-7

Oct. 26 - Clemson d. Boston College, 59-7
Joshua S. Kelly / USA Today Sports Images

Clemson's defense held Boston College to only 177 total yards and 10 first downs in a huge home victory. Travis Etienne scored three times on the ground, while wideout Diondre Overton had three catches — all of them touchdowns.

 
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Nov. 2 - Clemson d. Wofford, 59-14

Nov. 2 - Clemson d. Wofford, 59-14
Adam Hagy / USA Today Sports Images

Clemson predictably ran Wofford off the field in its 59-14 win over the Terriers. The Tigers held a 42-0 lead at halftime, as Travis Etienne finished with nine carries for 212 yards and two scores.

 
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Nov. 9 - LSU d. Alabama, 46-41

Nov. 9 - LSU d. Alabama, 46-41
Butch Dill / USA Today Sports Images

The Tigers finally got over the hump and defeated Alabama for the first time since 2011. LSU jumped out to a 33-13 halftime lead and was able to hold on in the second half despite Tua Tagovailoa's four touchdowns passes. Joe Burrow was 31-of-39 with 393 yards and three touchdowns, while running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire had 20 carries for 103 yards and three scores.

 
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Nov. 9 - Clemson d. NC State, 55-10

Nov. 9 - Clemson d. NC State, 55-10
Rob Kinnan / USA Today Sports Images

It was another dominating performance for the Tigers, who led NC State 42-0 at halftime. Trevor Lawrence threw for 276 yards and three touchdowns, adding a rushing score. Travis Etienne also had two rushing touchdowns.

 
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Nov. 16 - LSU d. Ole Miss, 58-37

Nov. 16 - LSU d. Ole Miss, 58-37
Justin Ford / USA Today Sports Images

After consecutive tough SEC games, the Tigers had a much easier time at Ole Miss. Joe Burrow padded his stats with 489 yards passing and five touchdowns, rewarding Ja'Marr Chase with eight receptions for 227 yards and three scores. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire also put up 172 yards on the ground.

 
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Nov. 16 - Clemson d. Wake Forest, 52-3

Nov. 16 - Clemson d. Wake Forest, 52-3
Joshua S. Kelly / USA Today Sports Images

Clemson outgained Wake Forest 516-105 in the blowout win over the Demon Deacons.Trevor Lawrence threw four touchdowns, three going to wideout Tee Higgins.

 
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Nov. 23 - LSU d. Arkansas, 56-20

Nov. 23 - LSU d. Arkansas, 56-20
Stephen Lew / USA Today Sports Images

LSU cruised to 11-0 overall and 7-0 in the SEC with a big win over Arkansas. Joe Burrow extended his Heisman lead with 327 passing yards and three touchdowns. Ja'Marr Chase had six receptions for 144 yards and two touchdowns, while Clyde Edwards-Helaire had 188 yards rushing and three touchdowns on only six carries.

 
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Nov. 30 - LSU d. Texas A&M, 50-7

Nov. 30 - LSU d. Texas A&M, 50-7
Chuck Cook / USA Today Sports Images

The Tigers capped off their regular-season schedule with a blowout over the Aggies. LSU led, 31-0, at halftime and finished the game with 553 total yards to Texas A&M's 169 yards. Joe Burrow threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns before getting pulled, while Ja'Marr Chase had seven receptions for 197 yards and two touchdowns.

 
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Nov. 30 - Clemson d. South Carolina, 38-3

Nov. 30 - Clemson d. South Carolina, 38-3
Jeff Blake / USA Today Sports Images

Clemson extended its win streak to six games in the rivalry win over South Carolina. The Gamecocks had only 174 yards of offense, and Trevor Lawrence threw for 295 yards and three touchdowns.

 
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Dec. 7 - LSU d. Georgia, 37-10

Dec. 7 - LSU d. Georgia, 37-10
John David Mercer / USA Today Sports Images

LSU earned the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff after clobbering Georgia in the SEC championship in Atlanta. Joe Burrow capped off his Heisman resume with 349 yards passing and four touchdowns, adding 41 yards on the ground. Wideout Terrace Marshall Jr. had 89 yards and two scores.

 
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Dec. 7 - Clemson d. Virginia, 62-17

Dec. 7 - Clemson d. Virginia, 62-17
Bob Donnan / USA Today Sports Images

The Tigers solidified their spot in the College Football Playoff with an easy win over Virginia in the ACC championship. Trevor Lawrence was 16-of-22 for 302 yards and four touchdowns, and wide receiver Tee Higgins finished with nine receptions for 182 yards and three scores.

 
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Dec. 28 - LSU d. Oklahoma, 63-28

Dec. 28 - LSU d. Oklahoma, 63-28
Dale Zanine / USA Today Sports Images

Joe Burrow and the LSU offense won the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in convincing fashion over the Sooners. Burrow threw a record seven touchdowns in the first half, the most in a half of a bowl game in FBS history, and he added one rushing touchdown during the game. Wideout Justin Jefferson also starred with 14 receptions for 227 yards and four scores.

 
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Dec. 28 - Clemson d. Ohio State, 29-23

Dec. 28 - Clemson d. Ohio State, 29-23
Joe Camporeale / USA Today Sports Images

Clemson came back from a 16-0 deficit to beat Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl, advancing to the national championship game. Trevor Lawrence had two touchdown passes and added 107 yards rushing and one rushing score. Running back Travis Etienne made his biggest impact as a receiver with 98 yards and two touchdowns, adding one more touchdown as a runner.

Seth Trachtman is a fantasy sports expert and diehard Kansas City Chiefs fan still hoping for a Super Bowl win during his lifetime. He doesn't often Tweet, but when he does, you can find him on Twitter @sethroto.


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