It was a tale of two Tigers on Monday night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, as Clemson and LSU went to war for the title of 2020 National Champions. For the first time since 2011, the LSU Tigers headed south to New Orleans with an opportunity to bring home a national title to their beloved university in front of the Tiger faithful.
Although the marquee matchup was between both teams’ elite quarterbacks, it was the defenses that prevailed early and second-half offensive adjustments that pushed LSU to victory.
After a slow start on offense, LSU’s top-ranked offense in the country was able to put its foot on the gas and blow past the Clemson defense, overcoming an early 10-point deficit while setting more records on its way and ending Clemson’s 29-game winning streak.
Despite being down double-digits for the first time all season, the Tigers persevered and scored 21 unanswered points to take the lead and never looking back.
For the first time all season, the explosive offense conducted by Joe Brady started out the game with back-to-back three-and-outs. The Tigers offense looked to be in a daze, struggling to find any answers for Clemson coordinator Brent Venables’ defense. Poor field position and strong early play by Clemson’s defense limited the scoring opportunities early, leaving some Tiger fans anxious.
“I was not ever worried,” junior All-American safety Grant Delpit said when speaking about the 10-point deficit they faced in the first half. “I had faith in our team and our offense. We came out the second half and played LSU brand type of football.”
Burrow finished the game 31-of-49 through the air for 463 yards and five touchdown passes, while adding another 58 yards on the ground including recording a rushing touchdown to his credit. Unsuprisingly, the Heisman winner was honored one last time as he was given the title of Offensive Player of the Game. Junior linebacker Patrick Queen was named Defensive Player of the Game after leading the team with eight tackles and 2.5 behind the line of scrimmage.
Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase are among the two Tigers who were credited with records on Monday night. Burrow passed former Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan for most touchdowns passes in a single season with 60. To go along with that, Burrow’s 521-yard total in the national championship was the most all time, for a game title surpassing Clemson’s Deshaun Watson in the BCS/College Football Playoff era. Burrow also threw a title-game record five touchdowns, accounting for a record six overall. Chase, the 2019 Biletnikoff Award winner, continued to show why he was named the top wide receiver in the country, setting a new record for most receiving yards in the first half of a BCS/CFP game. He hauled in 162 first-half receiving yards. The previous record was held by Andre Johnson in the 2002 Rose Bowl. Chase finished the game with 221 yards and two touchdowns to his credit.
“Every team has to pick their poison. Tonight, they chose to double Justin (Jefferson) and that enabled me to go off tonight,” Chase said. “I did not know what to expect coming into the game but this is a great feeling.”
Not only did LSU prove it was the best team in the country, but arguably one of the best teams to ever play college football. This Tigers team has been breaking numerous records throughout the season, but their most recent and one of the most impressive of all is that LSU became the first team to beat the top four teams in the preseason AP poll, and it did it with an average win margin of 21 points.
“It definitely speaks about the grit of our team,” Delpit said. “To play in the conference we do and have the amount of success that we did is something special.”
With this win, this gives LSU its fourth national championship, and its first since 2007. All four of LSU’s national championships have been won in the city of New Orleans.
This win is not only a crowning achievement for LSU and it’s players and coaching staff, but especially for offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger and passing game coordinator Joe Brady, for the way they were able to transform not just the scheme of their offense but the mentality of the entire team. Before the season started, Burrow made a statement to the media saying that LSU would be scoring 40, 50, 60 points a game and they were not far off.