The season of Joe and O could have ended only one way.
No. 1 LSU capped off one of the all-time great college football campaigns in the history of the sport in record-breaking fashion on Monday night in their own backyard of New Orleans, putting an end to No. 3 Clemson’s 29-game win streak with a convincing 42-25 win in the 2020 National Championship Game.
Leading the way for the locally-based Tigers was none other than their incredible field general Joe Burrow. The Heisman Trophy winner completed was absolutely masterful in throwing for 463 yards and five touchdowns, overcoming a big of a slow start to once again set fire to an opposing defense. A third quarter strike to tight end Thaddeus Moss was especially memorable as it helped the signal-caller pass Hawaii’s Colt Brennan for the FBS single-season record for passing touchdowns (which eventually was left at 60).
That was far from the only record set on the season or in the game for the quarterback but it would be one for the all-time highlight reels as Burrow laid his (excellent) claim to perhaps the best year ever at his position to send college football’s 150th anniversary out in style.
When Burrow wasn’t targeting Moss underneath though, he was headed over the top to Biletnikoff Award winner Ja'Marr Chase. The wideout certainly lived up to his title as the most outstanding receiver in the country by hauling in nine catches for 221 yards and two scores — all just a few miles from away from where he grew up in the Big Easy. Tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire was mostly kept in check overall but did break out some huge plays, including a spin move in the second quarter away from the sideline that would have reminded head coach Ed Orgeron of a certain Heisman-winner he saw back in the day at USC.
In the process, LSU laid vanquish to a Clemson squad that will have won two of the last four titles in recent years but will have also seen two of their only losses in this incredible run come at the Superdome to SEC teams. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence also suffered his first ‘L’ as a starter in college and was mostly outplayed by his opposite number as he threw for only 234 yards and was shutout from the end zone through the air. He did run for a touchdown to showcase his legs off for a second straight playoff game but it was far from enough.
Running back Travis Etienne also came close to several game-breakers on the ground but was forced to be mostly a pass catcher as the very late night wore on and led the team with 78 yards and a score of his own.
As dominant and good as the Tigers from little ol’ Clemson were this season though, they just weren’t enough against an LSU squad that completed one of the most magical and out of nowhere seasons in the the sport’s history. While we’ll have to let things breathe just a bit over the coming days, weeks and months, there’s little doubt that Coach O’s team have stated quite the case as one of the greatest of all time.
The win over Clemson was LSU’s seventh over a team ranked in top 10 and they became just the second ever modern 15-0 national champion by dethroning the first on the other sideline. They re-wrote the school, SEC and FBS record books on offense and had the consensus coach of the year, a Heisman Trophy, the Thorpe and Biletnikoff Award winners and the best offensive line in the country.
There was only one fitting conclusion to such a campaign of dominance and it happened as a Louisiana native and an adopted son stepped to the podium amid a cheering hometown crowd to hoist the national title in fitting fashion.