On Monday night, Louisiana State University won their fourth National Championship in school history with their 42-25 win over the defending National Champions the Clemson Tigers. LSU won the title in their home state, playing in the Marcedes-Lewis SuperDome. They were the first team to win a National Championship in their home state since Florida did back in 2008 when they defeated Oklahoma. LSU also won their last two National Championships in the SuperDome in 2004 and 2007 when they defeated Oklahoma and Ohio State.
The 17-point win doesn’t tell the whole story of the first Championship game of the decade. As a matter of fact, Clemson controlled most of the first quarter and took a 7-0 lead thanks to a one-yard run from quarterback Trevor Lawrence. A little over four minutes later, LSU struck for their first score of the game, thanks to a 52-yard bomb from Joe Burrow to his number one receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Chase was fantastic all game long and finished with nine catches, 221 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Clemson answered with a 52-yard field goal to retake the lead at 10-7 to start the second quarter. Clemson’s defense responded nicely after giving up a long touchdown and forced LSU to punt. LSU pinned Lawrence and the Clemson offense deep into their territory at their four yard line. However, it only took two plays for Clemson to get into LSU territory and two plays after that, Lawrence found Tee Higgins down field for the touchdown. Clemson led 17-7 with just over 10 minutes left in the first half and was in complete control.
Then, LSU decided to wake up on both sides of the ball and controlled the rest of the half. The LSU offense answered Clemson’s long touchdown drive with a five-play 75-yard drive that ended with a three-yard touchdown run from the Heisman winner. LSU’s defense forced a punt and gave it right back to the best offense in the country to take control of the game. Burrow had three straight completions of 18 plus yards to set up LSU at the Clemson 14. The very next play, Burrow found his favorite target, Chase, yet again to give LSU their first lead of the game.
LSU’s defense stepped up again for their second straight stop, and gave their offense the ball again right before the half at their own five-yard line. LSU had a third and 19 early in the drive and got bailed out by a pass interference to keep the drive moving. Burrow’s 29-yard run on third and 10 set up the Tiger’s offense at the six yard line, and a play later the Heisman Trophy winner found Thaddeus Moss in the end zone. It took LSU 11 plays and was their longest drive play wise of the game. They finished the half on a 21-0 run and took a 28-17 lead into the half.
To start the second half, Clemson was the better team yet again and forced LSU to a three and out and got great field position at midfield. Clemson drove 50 yards in six plays, capped off by running back Travis Etienne’s three-yard touchdown. A play later, Lawrence found his tight end Amari Rodgers to complete the two-point conversion to cut the lead to three. However, the rest of the way LSU would control the game. LSU took a 10-point lead with just over five minutes left in the third quarter. Again, Burrow found Moss for a four-yard touchdown, giving Burrow the most touchdowns in a season with 59. After back-to-back punts for Clemson, LSU put the nail in the coffin with Burrow’s 60th and final touchdown of the year to Terrace Marshall Jr.
Clemson tried to make a comeback, but a ticky-tack offensive pass interference call on Higgins negated a touchdown and killed any chance of a Clemson comeback. LSU ran out the clock the rest of the fourth quarter, and arguably the most successful season in college football history was complete.
LSU finished 15-0 and defeated seven top 10 teams, while having one of the best seasons of any player in college football history. Burrow finished his historic season by surpassing Colt Brennan for most touchdown passes with 60, and raising a gold trophy over his head to bring back to LSU. As Coach O would say, GEAUX Tigers!