Lawrence. Burrow. One versus three. Two tigers. Future first round draft picks in the NFL. Two quarterbacks from their own Death Valley squared off in Mercedes Benz Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana. Both teams came into the matchup undefeated.
Number 1 Louisiana State defeated number 4 Oklahoma in its College Football Playoff semifinal, winning 63-28. Joe Burrow completed 29 of 39 passes for 493 yards and seven touchdown passes, a CFP record for touchdown passes in a game.
On the other side of the CFP was a 2 versus 3 matchup as the Ohio State Buckeyes played the Clemson Tigers. Ohio State jumped out to an early 16-0 lead over the Tigers. Clemson would come up back making it 16-14 at the half. After some late crucial plays and a game-sealing interception, Clemson went on to win, 29-23. Lawerence’s record as a starter grew to 25-0. Clemson would be playing for its 30th consecutive win and its third national championship in four years.
The last time LSU and Clemson strapped up to play each other was in the 2012 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Clemson won the game on a last second field goal, 25-24.
After two weeks of waiting and college football fans giving their opinion of who would win the anticipated matchup, the two teams of Tigers played for all the marbles on January 13. There was no way a Tiger was not going to win this game.
It was the Clemson Tigers who drew first blood and took a 7-0 lead. Minutes later it was the Heisman Trophy winner Burrow and his Tigers responding to tie the game at 7 all.
The second quarter was full of scoring.
First it was Clemson scoring a touchdown at the 13:43 mark and then kicking a field goal at 10:38. The rest was LSU. Burrow ran for one and passed for two touchdowns in second to give LSU a 28-17 lead at the half.
Clemson needed to shut down LSU after half time in order to stay in the game. They did just that.
Clemson stopped LSU in three plays, getting the ball back with 13:26 left in the 3rd quarter. It took Clemson six plays to score. They made a decision to go for the two-point conversion and got it. This cut the LSU lead to only three points.
LSU’s quarterback was just 1 touchdown pass away from breaking the all-time record of most touchdown passes in a single season. It came with 5:13 left in the third and gave LSU a ten point lead, 35-25.
Clemson was kept scoreless the rest of the game; struggling in the second half to get anything going. Burrow passed the ball for another touchdown to break the record by two touchdowns. Clemson fumbled in the final minutes of the game and gave the ball back to LSU for them to run out the clock, capping off LSU’s season and 15-0 record.
LSU ended Clemson’s chances of winning three national championships in four years.
This was LSU’s fourth national championship and first since 2007.