The Clemson Tigers are seeking their second straight national title and third in four season, but the environment will be unfriendly to Dabo Swinney's club.
Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans will host the College Football Playoff Championship between Clemson and the LSU Tigers on Jan. 13. Though the program always travels well, the title matchup is practically a home game for LSU.
However, a partisan crowd is lower on Clemson's list of concerns than stopping an LSU offense that just scorched Oklahoma for 63 points. Joe Burrow accounted for eight touchdowns in that Peach Bowl obliteration of the Sooners. Clemson will counter that excellence with Trevor Lawrence, who is undefeated in 25 games as a starter.
National Championship Information
When: Monday, Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. ET
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans
Live stream: ESPN
Odds (Caesars): LSU -4.5
Injuries to Know
While the matchup will be analyzed carefully, the greatest immediate concern is injuries. Neither LSU nor Clemson left Saturday's action unscathed, and Clemson endured an especially physical night opposite Ohio State.
During the first half of the Peach Bowl, LSU's starting right guard, Damien Lewis, exited the field on a cart. Unfortunately for the senior, his prognosis isn't encouraging.
"Yeah, Damien, somebody hit his ankle on the side, and he's going be out for a little bit," LSU coach Ed Orgeron told reporters. "I don't know the severity of it yet."
Perhaps the two-week period between games will be enough for LSU's top lineman to return, but it's not guaranteed.
The outlook is much better for Terrace Marshall Jr.—who collected six receptions for 80 yards and two touchdowns in the game—and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
"Terrace, I think, is going to be sore for a little bit, should be fine," Orgeron said.
Cody Worsham of LSU Sports noted Edwards-Helaire said he should be close to 100 percent by the national title game. The All-SEC running back was available in limited fashion Saturday but didn't need to play much because of the blowout.
Clemson wasn't so fortunate.
Lawrence took several hard hits from a physical Ohio State defense as he logged a career-high 16 carries. The most violent was a tackle from Shaun Wade that led to a controversial and game-changing targeting penalty.
Star receiver Tee Higgins only played one series in the first half because of an apparent head injury. He returned after halftime but managed just 33 yards on four catches.
Fellow wideout Justyn Ross seemed to play through multiple injuries. He clutched his right arm at one point, later staying down on the field after several Ohio State defenders put Ross in an uncomfortable position on a tackle. He nonetheless battled for six receptions and 47 yards.
For good measure, the broadcast showed starting left guard John Simpson limping on the sideline at one point. He continued to play, but Clemson's offense kept taking hits.
If any of them is hobbled as Clemson tries to match LSU's powerful offense, it could be crushing for the Tigers' title pursuit.
Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.