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Wayne Staats | | January 14, 2020

LSU, Joe Burrow beat Clemson to win the College Football Playoff national title

LSU knocked Clemson off its title perch — and did it in a record-breaking showing. In the end, LSU had Joe Burrow. The other 129 FBS teams did not.

Burrow broke the single-season passing touchdown record (finished with 60) and LSU set the single-season points record in the poll era (726, beating 2013 Florida State's 723 in 14 games) by closing out a 15-0 season with a 42-25 win against Clemson in New Orleans on Monday night.

The win marked LSU's first title of the CFP era and its first national title since winning the BCS crown in the 2007 season. Burrow, who broke Hawai'i QB Colt Brennan's pass TD record, finished the game 31-for-49 for 463 yards and five touchdowns. Biletnikoff Award winner Ja'Marr Chase had nine catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns. Chase's receiving yards are the most by a player in a title game in the BCS/CFP era.

LSU vs. Clemson: Score, live updates for the 2020 National Championship Game

Click here for live stats and play-by-play

LSU 42, Clemson 25 | FINAL

Joe Burrow's historic season ends at No. 1 as LSU surged past Clemson to win the College Football Playoff national title for the first time. And Clemson's winning streak is now done at 29 games in a row.

Burrow ended his Heisman-winning season with 463 passing yards and five touchdowns and 58 rushing yards with a score.

The LSU vs. Clemson stats.

Clemson led 17-7 and cut the score to 28-25 in the third quarter, but it couldn't consistently get pressure on Burrow. QB Trevor Lawrence had 234 passing yards, though he completed only 18 of his 37 passes while losing a fumble. Travis Etienne, who became Clemson's career rushing yards leader in the game, had 78 yards and a touchdown.

LSU 35, Clemson 25 | End 3Q

Burrow has the record and LSU is a quarter away from its first national title since the 2007 season.

Despite seemingly not 100 percent after getting hit on a TD pass late in the first half, Burrow found Thaddeus Moss for a score to break the record for single-season touchdown passes at 59. That broke Colt Brennan's record of 58 in 2006.

LSU star WR Ja'Marr Chase also now owns the record for receiving yards in a title game in the CFP/BCS era. He's up to 218 yards, though a third touchdown fell incomplete off his hands.

Burrow's second passing touchdown to Moss added cushion against Clemson. The defending champions had cut the deficit to three points after a Travis Etienne touchdown run and two-point conversion. 

But one season after torching Alabama on third downs (10-for-15), Clemson is 1-for-10. Lawrence is also only 16-for-32 for 201 passing yards in the game.

LSU 28, Clemson 17 | HALF

LSU's tempo might be wearing out Clemson's defense while also adding points on the board. Heisman winner Joe Burrow is mostly doing damage with his arm (270 passing yards) to top target Ja'Marr Chase, but a crucial QB draw on 3rd-and-long led to a pivotal touchdown before halftime.

After starting the game with punts on its first three possessions, LSU scored touchdowns on four of its next five drives.

That helped turn what was LSU's largest deficit of the season (10 points at 17-7) into an 11-point lead.

The LSU vs. Clemson box score.

Biletnikoff Award winner Ja'Marr Chase is Burrow's top target right now: 6 catches, 162 yards and two touchdowns. That slow start for Burrow seems like it was years ago, as Burrow is up to 16-for-28 for 270 yards and three touchdowns. Burrow has also tied Colt Brennan's record for TD passes in a single season (58 in 2006 for Hawai'i).

As for Clemson, what looked like a strong half ends with it needing to rally, just like in the semifinal against Ohio State. QB Trevor Lawrence has 176 passing yards and Travis Etienne has 64 rushing yards (while becoming the school's all-time rushing leader), but can Clemson keep up?

LSU is on pace to post more than 700 yards of offense.

LSU vs. Clemson halftime stats

LSU 7, Clemson 7 | End 1Q

You didn't think all those punts would last, did you?

After the teams went punt-punt-punt-punt to start the game, both Trevor Lawrence and Joe Burrow have seemed to settle in. The defenses brought physical play — and also pressure on the quarterbacks — but these teams need just one missed assignment for a huge gain.

Clemson struck first, mostly thanks to a 42-yard pass to Galloway. Lawrence finished off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. But LSU then found 6 on a 52-yard pass from Burrow to Chase.

Clemson has the yards edge, but LSU might be starting to luck after the really tough start.

The LSU vs. Clemson box score


So, which team will come out on top?

Both teams have reasons to feel confident. Clemson hasn't lost since Jan. 1, 2018 to Alabama, as the Tigers are the defending national champions and have won 29 games in a row. They also have QB Trevor Lawrence and RB Travis Etienne, along with a dominant defense.

Then there's LSU. These Tigers are 14-0 as well, plus they're the No. 1 seed — and have Heisman winner Joe Burrow. LSU will also get to play close to home in New Orleans. Both of LSU's BCS titles (2003 and 2007 seasons) came in the Superdome. So history might be on their side, too.

14-0 (8-0 SEC) Record (Conference) 14-0 (8-0 ACC)
No. 1 CFP ranking No. 3
48.9 Points per game 45.3
21.6 Points allowed 11.5
564.1 Yards per game 538.4
397.2 Passing ypg 292.2
166.9 Rushing ypg 246.1
339.9 Yards allowed per game 264.1
221.9 Passing yards allowed 151.5
118.0 Rushing yards allowed 112.6
Joe Burrow
5,208 yards (55 TDs, 6 INT)
Passing yards leader Trevor Lawrence
3,431 yards (36 TDs, 8 INT)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire
1,304 yards, 16 TDs
Rushing yards leader Travis Etienne
1,536 yards, 18 TDs
Ja'Marr Chase
1,559 yards, 18 TDs
Receiving yards leader Tee Higgins
1,115 yards, 13 TDs

2020 National Championship Game: Date, time

The national championship is set to be played at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. The game will be at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.

LSU and Clemson are meeting for the title. You can follow along here with live scoring, stats and updates.

2020 National Championship Game: TV channel for the College Football Playoff

The CFP title game can be watched live on ESPN and online on WatchESPN.

2020 National Championship Game: Teams

Clemson is playing in its second-straight championship game and fourth in the last five seasons after defeating Ohio State in the final minutes of the 2019 Fiesta Bowl, 29-23. Clemson will face LSU, which advanced to its first title game of the CFP era in a big victory over Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl, winning by 35.

LSU is the top-ranked team, but the Tigers are in the CFP for the first time. Clemson is going for its second consecutive national title and third championship in the CFP era.

TV SCHEDULE: Complete game times, TV channel information for every bowl game

National Championship Game: History, scores

Clemson and Alabama have won the CFP national title twice each. Ohio State is the only other team to win it — and the Buckeyes won it the first year (2014 season).

Before the CFP, the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) had the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in their rankings meet for the BCS title. LSU won BCS titles in the 2003 and 2007 seasons.

SCORES: Scores, stats for all bowl games

NOTE: Years are by calendar year of when the games were played.

College Football Playoff era

2019 Clemson 44-16 Alabama Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California
2018 Alabama 26-23 Georgia Mercedes-Benz Stadium,
2017 Clemson 35-31 Alabama Raymond James Stadium,
Tampa, Fla.
2016 Alabama 45-40 Clemson University of Phoenix Stadium,
Glendale, Ariz.
2015 Ohio State 42-20 Oregon AT&T Stadium,
Arlington, Texas

BCS era

2014 Florida State 34-31 Auburn Rose Bowl,
Pasadena, Calif.
2013 Alabama 42-14 Notre Dame Sun Life Stadium,
Miami Gardens, Fla.
2012 Alabama 21-0 LSU Mercedes-Benz Superdome,
New Orleans
2011 Auburn 22-19 Oregon University of Phoenix Stadium,
Glendale, Ariz.
2010 Alabama 37-21 Texas Rose Bowl,
Pasadena, Cali.
2009 Florida 24-14 Oklahoma Dolphin Stadium,
Miami Gardena, Fla.
2008 LSU 38-24 Ohio State Louisiana Superdome,
New Orleans
2007 Florida 41-14 Ohio State University of Phoenix Stadium,
Glendale, Ariz.
2006 Texas 41-38 Southern California Rose Bowl,
Pasadena, Calif.
2005 Southern California* 55-19 Oklahoma Pro Player Stadium,
Miami Gardena, Fla.
2004 LSU 21-14 Oklahoma Louisiana Superdome,
New Orleans
2003 Ohio State 31-24 (OT) Miami Sun Devil Stadium,
Tempe, Fla.
2002 Miami 37-14 Nebraska Rose Bowl,
Pasadena, Calif.
2001 Oklahoma 13-2 Florida State Pro Player Stadium,
Miami Gardens, Fla.
2000 Florida State 46-29 Virginia Tech Louisiana Superdome,
New Orleans
1999 Tennessee 23-16 Florida State Sun Devil Stadium,
Tempe, Fla.


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