The college football season ended Monday night as the Tigers beat, well, the Tigers 42-25 at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
To be clearer, No. 1 Louisiana State University came out on top of No. 3 Clemson University. After throwing for 463 yards on 31 completions for five touchdowns, plus another 58 yards and a touchdown on the ground, LSU’s Joe Burrow has become the 16th Heisman winner to win a National Championship in the same season.
Despite the 17-point victory, the game was much closer than the score, or even the stats suggest. Clemson led LSU 17-7 midway through the second quarter. The Bayou Bengals did not submit and scored 21 unanswered points, including six-yard touchdown reception from Thaddeus Moss with 0:10 seconds left in the half to lift LSU to a 28-17 lead.
A three-yard touchdown run by Clemson’s Travis Etienne and a subsequent two-point conversion on a pass from Trevor Lawrence to Amari Rodgers brought the boys in orange within three. LSU scored the final 14 points of the game and was even in the red zone when Burrow took the final knee to end the game.
LSU’s offense was electric. Clyde Edwards-Helaire led all rushers Monday night with 110 yards. Ja’Marr Chase put up video game numbers on the biggest stage in college. Chase racked up 221 receiving yards and two touchdowns on only nine catches. Justin Jefferson also broke the century mark for LSU with 106 yards on nine catches as well.
Clemson’s offense played well but was not as explosive as LSU’s. The only player to break 100 yards was Lawrence, which is to be expected from a quarterback. He had 234 yards in the air on 18 completions. He also rushed for 49 yards and a touchdown. All three of Clemson’s touchdowns were on the ground.
Etienne scored one touchdown and racked up 78 yards. Clemson’s Tee Higgins also score on a 36-yard run. Justyn Ross led Clemson in receiving yards with 76 on six catches.
Clemson’s defense put Burrow on the run all night and managed to sack him five times, while only allowing LSU to sack Lawrence twice. LSU won the turnover battle with the only turnover of the game on a fumble from Lawrence.
Monday night’s win, or Tuesday morning’s for our East Coast friends, was LSU’s fourth National Championship. College football will start up again in mid-August.