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Burrow, TV, tickets, Trump, Pinckney out and other Clemson-LSU pregame items

NEW ORLEANS — Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables is known as a mastermind, but he knows containing Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow and the rest of the LSU offense in the College Football Playoff national championship game is his toughest task yet.

Burrow, Venables, President Donald Trump, ticket prices reflecting Monday afternoon fan madness for several blocks around the Superdome, ESPN coverage and other numbers going into tonight’s much anticipated showdown:

55. Burrow has set an SEC single-season record for touchdown passes.

Joe Burrow

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow has thrown an SEC-record 55 touchdown passes this season going into a national championship game against Clemson. AP/John Amis

77.6. Burrow’s completion percentage is on pace to break the NCAA record set by Colt McCoy of Texas in 2008.

“I mean, he’s unbelievable,” Venables said. “The poise, the toughness, the precision, the accuracy, the ability to throw and improvise on the run and extend plays.”

15. Different options ESPN networks offer for tonight’s Megacast. That includes a main broadcast with Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit on the call. Also included: Clemson radio network call on the ACC Network, LSU radio network call on the SEC Network, Refcast, Skycast, Spanish language broadcast, Field Pass and Coaches Film Room. Check your cable, streaming or satellite provider for details.

$425-$525. Face-value price for tickets

$1,046. Lowest StubHub secondary-market ticket price at one point Monday afternoon after prices dropped to $715 over the weekend

0-1. Record of the home-state team in national championship games Trump has attended (Georgia lost to Alabama in Atlanta two years ago with the president on hand). Trump plans to attend tonight in New Orleans.

9. Snaps for Clemson senior defensive tackle Nyles Pinckney in a playoff semifinal win over Ohio State after averaging over 27 snaps per game this season. Pinckney was not in uniform Monday night as Clemson players began preparing for the game.

2011-2014. Seasons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett played at Clemson. He will serve as the Tigers’ honorary captain.

22-0. Touchdown passes and interceptions for Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence over the last seven games.

3. National championships for each school: Clemson won in 1981, 2016 and 2018; LSU won in 1958, 2003 and 2007.

29-0. Clemson record since its last game in New Orleans, a Sugar Bowl loss to Alabama in a 2017 playoff semifinal game.

23. LSU points in a 23-20 victory over Auburn on Oct. 26. Ironically, the Tigers’ lowest scoring output of the season came against defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, the guy Swinney fired before hiring Venables.

“They went to a dime package, three down linemen and seven defensive backs,” LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger said. “It was difficult.”

1997-1998. Seasons that Ensminger spent at Clemson as offensive coordinator under head coach Tommy West.

“It was a great coaching staff,” Ensminger said. “It’s a great town to live in. We had a great time.”

4. Clemson defensive linemen picked in the 2019 NFL draft: Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence and Austin Bryant. All four are in town for the game.

Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff

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