NEW ORLEANS — Before Clemson left for New Orleans Friday afternoon, head coach Dabo Swinney gave his team one message … “Focus.”
It was a simple one, but probably affective nonetheless as the Tigers landed in New Orleans Friday afternoon just after 4 p.m. Clemson will play LSU Monday night for the College Football National Championship at the Superdome.
The last time Clemson was in “The Big Easy” things did not go so well. The Tigers partook in a lot of the festivities that take place in New Orleans and in the end some of the players admitted afterwards they probably were not as focused as they need to be. Alabama beat the Tigers 24-6 in the Sugar Bowl in 2017.
That will not be the case this time around.
“We are on business trip,” right tackle Tremayne Anchrum said. “We had the bowl experience a couple of weeks ago. But this is a championship game and we have to be ready for everything.”
The Tigers are also a little anxious to play.
“Honest to God, we have been really wanting to play this game right after Ohio State, even though guys were hurt. We are eager to get on the field and prove we are the best team in America.”
Anchrum said the Tigers were giddy when they got on the plane in Greenville on Friday because they knew they were on their way to play in another national championship game.
“We are all kind of giddy and ready to play today, but we know we still have some things to work on,” Anchrum said. “We still have to go through the process, and we will be ready by Monday.”
Monday night’s game will be the fourth for the Clemson program in the last five years, with the Tigers winning national championships in 2016 and 2018.
“Honestly, this does feel familiar. It feels familiar but it feels fresh every time,” Anchrum said. “It’s a different smell in the air. You know you are not in South Carolina. It’s a different atmosphere. It’s a championship game. You can feel the excitement and people are ready. So, it is different, but it is still familiar.”
Clemson is going back to the national championship game after once again winning the Fiesta Bowl over Ohio State. Get your official national championship and Fiesta Bowl champs gear right here!