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NCAA Football News and Notes: Showdown For The Title

While the college football season is approaching its end, there is still a lot of excitement around the sport.
First and foremost, the national championship game is Monday, featuring a matchup of undefeated teams in Clemson and LSU. Additionally, though, teams are also making new hires for their coaching staffs, players are declaring for the draft, players are entering the transfer portal, and there is a plethora of other news.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at news from around the NCAA football landscape.

And Then There Were Two

After months of blood, sweat, and tears, college football is down to two teams. The national championship game will feature the No. 3-ranked Clemson Tigers (14-0) taking on the No. 1-ranked LSU Tigers (14-0).

Clemson is led by quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who has thrown for 3,172 yards, 34 touchdowns, and just eight interceptions this season. On the ground, Clemson will look to Travis Etienne to lead the way. Etienne has rushed for 1,500 yards and 17 touchdowns while also catching 29 passes for 298 yards and another two touchdowns.

LSU is led by Heisman Trophy winner and possible No. 1 pick, Joe Burrow. The sensational quarterback has passed for 4,715 yards and 48 touchdowns while throwing just six interceptions.

He will have his work cut out for him against a tough Clemson defense, but he has plenty of weapons around him. One weapon is running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who rushed for 1,290 yards and 16 touchdowns.

LSU is certainly excited about the opportunity. Nothing exemplifies this better than the fact that the college has already canceled classes for Monday and Tuesday. Now the Tigers just hope that Tuesday is a day of celebration and not of mourning.

Georgia Lands Wake Forest QB

It appears that Georgia has found its replacement for Jake Fromm. On Saturday, it was confirmed that Wake Forest quarterback Jamie Newman will be heading to the Bulldogs. He is transferring as a graduate transfer, giving him immediate eligibility.

This season with Wake Forest, Newman was 220 for 361 for 2,868 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He also rushed 180 times this season for 574 yards and six touchdowns.

While it won’t be easy to replace Fromm, this certainly gives the Bulldogs a proven signal-caller as they hope to strengthen their program for next season.

Fromm announced on Wednesday that he was officially entering the 2020 NFL Draft. On the season, he went 234 for 385 for 2,860 yards, 24 touchdowns, and just five interceptions. While those numbers may not completely stand out as elite, he certainly was able to lead the Georgia Bulldogs to a very successful season.

Leach To Mississippi State

After success at Texas Tech and Washington State, Mike Leach has decided to move on to a new opportunity as he will be the new head coach at Mississippi State. Leach replaces Joo Moorhead after two seasons as head coach. As a head coach, Leach is 139-90, as he went 84-43 at Texas Tech and 55-47 at Washington State.

It will be interesting to see how Mississippi State adjusts to Leach, who is known as a pass-first coach. This year, Washington State ranked first in the nation in passing yards per game at 433.5.

Mississippi State, on the other hand, ranked 111th in the nation, averaging just 177.3 passing yards per game. Regardless, as Mississippi State competes in the SEC West, which features teams like Alabama, LSU, and Auburn, Leach should give some notoriety to the Bulldogs.

Tua To Go Pro

After weeks of speculation, Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has made it official as he has decided to go pro and enter the upcoming NFL Draft. At one point, this wasn’t even a question, as Tagovailoa was expected to be the hands-down No. 1 pick.

However, after suffering a season-ending hip injury, there had been some speculation that he might return to Alabama to try to prove that he was healthy. It will be interesting to see where he ends up going in the draft.

Some teams may stay away, given that he may not be able to prove his health by the draft, but if he can stay healthy, some team may get a steal. This season, in limited time, Tagovailoa was 180 for 252 for 2,840 yards, 33 touchdowns, and just three interceptions.

Spartans Lose Wide Receiver To Draft

Michigan State will be losing a key weapon next season, as wide receiver Cody White has decided to skip his senior season and enter the upcoming NFL Draft. This season, White had 66 catches for 922 yards and six touchdowns.

He also had six rushes for 22 yards and also was part of the punt-return unit for Michigan State. While the Spartans will be looking to fill his void at wide receiver, White will hope to fulfill his dream of playing in the NFL.

Collins To Return

Texas Tech received some good news, as senior receiver Seth Collins has been granted an NCAA waiver that will allow him a sixth year of eligibility. He missed all of last season with a shoulder injury.

A former quarterback for Oregon State, Collins transitioned to wide receiver after transferring to Texas Tech. In 2018, he had 317 yards receiving and two touchdowns on 32 catches. While he may not be the elite of the elite, Collins does give Texas Tech some depth and a solid option returning for next season.

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