Sports

Joe Burrow Dominated As LSU Beat Clemson To Win The National Championship

As Ric Flair once said, to be the man you have to beat the man, and on Monday night in New Orleans, the LSU Tigers did just that, taking down the reigning and defending national champs in a 42-25 win over Clemson.

Early, it was Clemson that came out strong, taking a 17-7 lead over LSU and handing them their first double-digit deficit of the season. They pinned LSU back inside their 10 on multiple possessions to start the game and Brent Venables’ early gameplan was masterful, sending pressure at Joe Burrow to confuse and move the Heisman Trophy winner off of his spots. On the other side, the Clemson offense got off to a quick start, as Trevor Lawrence opened the scoring with a keeper off the right side to take a 7-0 lead.

LSU would answer though as Burrow found his rhythm, hitting Ja’Marr Chase, who had a monster night with nine catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns, in stride for a deep touchdown to even things up and open up the shootout first half everyone expected.

Clemson would answer back with a huge play from one of their star wideouts, as Tee Higgins took a reverse to the house with some physical running at the end of the play to regain the lead.

A long field goal would put Clemson up 17-7, but despite controlling the early action, the LSU onslaught was coming. Joe Burrow ran in a touchdown to pull within three, then found Chase for a second touchdown to make it a four-point LSU lead. To close the half, they ripped off a 95-yard touchdown drive, capped off by this touchdown pass to Thaddeus Moss, to take a 28-17 halftime lead and suddenly things felt dire for Clemson.

Trevor Lawrence and company would answer with an impressive drive to pull back within three with a Travis Etienne touchdown run and two-point conversion.

However, that would be the end of Clemson’s comeback bid. Burrow would throw another touchdown pass to Moss to extend the lead back to 10 going to the final quarter, where they would ice things in impressive fashion. The dagger came on a perfect pass and catch combo, as Burrow found Terrace Marshall Jr. on an inside fade (that Mike Gundy called on the ESPN Coaches Film Room presnap) to all but lock things up, up 17 in the fourth quarter.

An offensive pass interference would negate a Clemson touchdown on the ensuing possession and they would eventually punt. That would be the last scoring chance for the reigning national champs, who ceded their title to the Tigers from Louisiana.

Burrow was spectacular with 463 yards and five touchdowns on 31-of-49 passing, shaking off a tough start to put on a virtuoso performance in his final game as a college quarterback. On the other side, it was a rough night for Lawrence, who missed high on a number of throws and added in a late fumble to officially seal any hopes of a miraculous comeback. Even in a down night, he made some incredible plays, but the margin for error against this LSU team all season has been razor thin, and Clemson was the latest to learn that the hard way.

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