NEW ORLEANS – A dream season for LSU and senior quarterback Joe Burrow ended in the most appropriate way possible Monday: By winning a national championship in their home state.
Burrow, the Heisman Trophy winner and likely No. 1 pick in April’s NFL Draft, went 31-of-49 passing for 463 yards to lead LSU to a 42-25 win over defending national champion Clemson in the College Football Playoff national championship game in New Orleans.
Playing in front of a partisan crowd just 80 miles from its campus in Baton Rouge, LSU (15-0) won its first national title since 2007 and fourth overall in school history.
Trailing 17-7 in the second quarter, LSU scored 21 unanswered points to take a 28-17 lead at halftime.
Clemson (14-1) forced LSU to punt on the first possession of the second half, and then closed within 28-25 on a 3-yard touchdown run by Travis Etienne and 2-point conversion with 10:49 left in the third quarter.
But it was all LSU after that.
LSU took a 35-25 lead with 5:13 left in the third quarter on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Burrow to tight end Thaddeus Moss.
It was Burrow’s 59th touchdown pass of the year, breaking the previous FBS record of 58 held by former Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan.
Burrow then threw his 60th with 12:08 left in the game, completing a 24-yard touchdown pass to Terrace Marshall to make it 42-25 LSU.
Clemson entered the game allowing 264.1 yards a game, but allowed 628 yards to LSU.