Clemson and LSU Face Off in Record-Breaking National Championship Game

On Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, the 2019 College Football Playoff season ended with a matchup between the nation’s top two football teams, the Clemson Tigers versus the Louisiana State University Tigers, at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Both teams entered the championship game undefeated, as Clemson punched their tickets into the Championship game after defeating Ohio State University in the Fiesta Bowl semifinal game and LSU handled Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl to get to the Championship game.

Most of the hype surrounding the game was focused on the senior LSU quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner, Joe Burrow, and the sophomore Clemson quarterback, Trevor Lawrence. Many comparisons were made between the two quarterbacks in the weeks leading up to the championship game and the analysts declared this would be a game of the best offense in the nation facing the best defense in the nation.  The stronger of the two would be victorious. LSU was stronger on both sides of the field on Monday night as they handed Clemson its first loss in since they lost the Championship game to Alabama in 2017.

Lawrence had not lost a game of football since he was in high school and led the Clemson Tigers to a National Championship last year and 25 consecutive wins as the team’s starting quarterback. Lawrence isn’t eligible for the draft until next year, and as of right now, he is the favorite for the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft. In the Clemson Tigers’ loss, Lawrence remained gracious as he hugged and comforted each of his teammates and tried to shoulder the blame for the defeat.

Burrow, who transferred from Ohio State University to play for the LSU Tigers, broke many records and earned many awards and accolades on he and his team’s journey to the National Championship Game.

Burrow is the only player in SEC history to throw for both 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns and holds the university single-season records for completions, passing yards per game, total offense per game, and total offense.

Burrow continued to add to his season accomplishments on Monday night; his five touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown were a contribution to his season total of 60 which broke the previous FBS record of 59 and Burrow has been credited with being responsible for 63 touchdowns, which is also the record. In addition, the five touchdown passes and 463 passing yards are the most recorded for a BCS or College Football Playoff title game.

As credited by LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, “He’s one of the greatest players in LSU history.” Burrow is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft in April.

Clemson started the game with possession of the ball and on their third possession, they put the first points up after Lawrence rushed the ball one yard for the touchdown score. LSU put their first touchdown on the board two drives later as Burrow connected with Ja’Marr Chase for the 52-yard touchdown score. The first quarter ended with a seven-all tie and Clemson had possession of the ball.

Clemson opened up the second quarter with a 52-yard field goal kick by B.T. Potter and then on their second possession put another touchdown on the board when Tee Higgins rushed the ball 36 yards into the end zone and Clemson took a 10-point lead, 17-7.

LSU answered in their next possession with a touchdown score after Burrow rushed the ball three yards for the score. Before the end of the quarter LSU would score two more times, once when Burrow connected with Chase again and then in the next possession, he connected with Thaddeus Moss and the LSU Tigers had the lead, 28-17, going into halftime.

Clemson also put the up the first points of the second half when Travis Etienne rushed the ball for a three-yard touchdown. Instead of attempting the one-point kick the Tigers chose to attempt the two-point conversion and Lawrence connected with Amari Rodgers to add the two points to the score.  Clemson was within three points of tying the game at this point, 28-25, but unfortunately for the team from South Carolina, the LSU Tigers had other plans and held Clemson to 25 points for the remainder of the game.

Burrow and Moss connected once again for a four-yard touchdown pass before the end of third quarter and in the fourth quarter, Terrace Marshall, Jr. caught a 24-yard pass from Burrow to put one more touchdown on the board with just over 12 minutes to play. LSU used its remaining drives to run time off of the clock in order to cement their lead, playing for over five minutes in the next drive and nearly four minutes in the final drive of the game. When the time ran out on the clock, the score was 42-25 and the LSU Tigers won their first national championship in 13 years. This game is sure to go down in the record books as one of the best championship games of all-time and it definitely will always be a matter of history because of the many records that were set during the exciting game.

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