WAFB | Mark Lagrange
New Orleans was the place to be on Monday night as it felt like all of Louisiana swarmed the French Quarter and the Mercedes Benz Superdome to watch their Tigers compete for a National Championship for the first time since 2012. This game was one for the ages and one that LSU fans will remember for a long time. Fighting hard against their toughest opponent this season, the Clemson Tigers, LSU finished the most historic year in school history with a perfect ending.
The first couple of drives started off slow for both teams as the defenses were holding their own. Clemson was able to get a few early first downs while LSU was battling poor field position, starting inside their own 5-yard line twice in their first three possessions. Eventually, on Clemson’s third drive of the game, they were able to drive on LSU’s defense 67 yards and cap off the series with a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Trevor Lawrence to take the early 7-0 lead. LSU did not seem to be affected by this, and on the ensuing possession, Heisman winner, Joe Burrow, found the best wide receiver in the nation in Jamar Chase on a 57-yard touchdown pass to put the Tigers on the board.
In the second quarter, the teams started to find their grooves on offense as the scoring started to pick up. Clemson responded to the LSU touchdown by scoring 10 points of their own, courtesy of a 52-yard field goal by BT Potter and a 36-yard run by wide receiver Tee Higgins. This gave Clemson the 17-7 lead over LSU. LSU once again was able to respond with a 5-play, 75-yard scoring drive that ended with a 3-yard run by Joe Burrow to close the gap on the Clemson lead to 17-14. The LSU defense continued to get stops on the defending national champions to get their offense back on the field. The nation’s #1 offense drove once again on the Clemson defense, and Burrow and Chase connected for the second time on a 14-yard pass for a touchdown. This gave LSU their first lead of the night, 21-17 with 5:19 left in the first half. The last score of the half was a 6-yard pass to tight end Thaddeus Moss that left Clemson fans in shock as LSU lead 28-17 going into the half. With all the momentum in LSU’s favor, they would also receive the ball to start the second half.
On LSU’s first drive of the second half, Clemson forced a quick three-and-out and was able to capitalize on it by methodically driving down the field and scoring a touchdown on a Travis Etienne 3-yard run. Those other tigers were also successful on a two-point conversion to cut the LSU lead to 3. Although it seemed like Clemson would be gaining momentum here, this was the last time they would score all night. LSU controlled the game for the rest of the half. Dave Aranda’s defense came up with impressive stops by putting pressure on Lawrence and causing his passes to land off-target. A targeting call in the third quarter disqualified Clemson’s star linebacker, James Skalski, creating a vulnerability in their stout defense. Taking advantage of the new defensive look, Burrow added two more touchdown passes to Thaddeus Moss and Terrace Marshall, breaking the NCAA record for most touchdown passes in a season.
Final score: 42-25 LSU.
By the end of the 2019 football season, LSU has acquired:
Seven top 10 wins
Heisman Trophy Winner: Joe Burrow
Davey O’Brien Award: Joe Burrow
Biletnikoff Award Winner: Jamar Chase
Thorpe Award Winner: Grant Delpit
Joe Moore Trophy for the best offensive line in the country
2019 AP College Football Coach of the Year Award: Ed Orgeron
Home Depot Coach of the Year Award: Ed Orgeron
They put the cherry on top with a huge win for the state of Louisiana that made the LSU Tigers the second team in college football history to finish 15-0.