NEW ORLEANS (WDAM) _ About 4 ½ minutes into Monday night’s national championship game, top-ranked Louisiana Stare University looked up at the scoreboard, saw it was down 10 points to third-ranked Clemson University, and basically yawned.
Record-setting quarterback Joe Burrow donned his purple-and-gold cape for one last, ridiculous performance as the Louisiana Tigers came roaring back to shred the defending national champions 42-25 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
In his last game as a collegian, the Heisman Trophy winner threw for 463 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran for another score. All told, his six accounted for and his five passing were records in a national championship game since the Bowl Championship Series/College Football Playoff began.
The national championship was the school’s fourth in football and first football title since 2007.
LSU (15-0) be came the first Southeastern Conference football team with at least 15 wins in a season and the 726 points were the most in school, SEC and FBS football history.
The win also snapped a 29-game wining streak by Clemson (14-1) and gave LSU a stunning seventh victory over a top 10 team this season.
Burrow, the game’s Most Valuable Offensive Player, threw touchdown passes of 52 yards and 14 yards to receiver Ja’Marr Chase, 6 yards and 3 yards to tight end Thaddeus Moss and 24 yards to Terrace Marshall.
His 3-yard scoring run was in the first of a three-touchdown flurry that erased a 17-7 deficit and sent LSU into halftime up 11 points.
Clemson had scored first on a 1-yard run by quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who would finish the game rushing for 49 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
Lawrence completed 18-of-37 for 234 yards, but did not throw a touchdown and saw his string of 25 consecutive starts without a loss come to an end.
Burrow and Chase tied the game 7-7 on the longer of their two scoring plays, but B.T. Potter drilled a 52-yard field goal and receiver Tee Higgins went 36 for a touchdown on an end around to put Clemson up 17-7.
At which point, Burrow and the LSU Tigers emphatically replied.
Burrows ran in for a touchdown that got LSU to 17-14, then put the Tigers ahead 21-14 with a 14-yard looper to Chase.
Despite taking a jarring hit, Burrow found Moss in the front of the end zone with a 6-yard pass with just 10 seconds left in the first half for a 28-17 halftime.
Clemson would cut the LSU lead to 28-25 on a 3-yard run by running back Travis Etienne and Lawrence’s conversion pass to Amari Rodgers.
Etienne ran for 78 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. In the process, he not only became Clemson’s all-time rushing leader, but also the first in school history to rush for 4,000 yards in a career (4,038 yards).
But that would be it for Clemson, who was outscored 35-8 from the point it opened up its double-digit lead.
Burrow capped his evening with a 4-yard TD pass to Moss and a 24-yarder to Marshall, as LSU outscored Clemson 35-8 over the final 2 1/2 quarters.
The TD passes gave Burrow a “major-school”-record 60 for the season and his 65 touchdowns accounted-for set another mark.
Chase led LSU with nine catches for 221 yards and two scores. Receiver Justin Jefferson also had nine catches, finishing with 106 yards. Moss had four catches for 36 yards and two scores.
LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for 110 yards on 16 carries and caught five passes.
LSU linebacker Patrick Quenn was named the game’s defensive MVP.