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LSU Trounces Clemson 42-25, Taking Its First National Championship Since 2007

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow holds the trophy after the team's win against Clemson in the NCAA College Football Playoff National Championship game on Monday in New Orleans.
David J. Phillip

Louisiana State University, led by its Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow, capped a perfect season defeating Clemson in a 42-25 game for the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Early on, defending champs Clemson, going in with a 29-game winning streak, managed a 10-point lead over LSU, a team hungry for its first title victory since 2007. But LSU stormed back and Burrow showed why he is the best player in college football, cleaving Clemson's rock-solid defense with five touchdowns, no interceptions and a record of 463 yards on 31 of 49 passes.

Burrow ended his career with an NCAA single season-record 60 touchdown passes.

Although considered a neutral site, the New Orleans Superdome is just 80 miles from LSU's campus, and was filled with raucous LSU fans.

"This is what I wanted to do from the time I was 5 years old, was hoist this trophy, and bringing it back to Louisiana," Burrow said, catching himself. "I guess we're in Louisiana, but staying in Louisiana, we weren't going to let someone come in here and steal this from us in our home state."

In just the first half, Burrow connected with Biletnikoff Award-winner Ja'Marr Chase for 147 yards. Chase made nine catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns for the game – a new CFP National Championship record for receiving yards.

The Tigers had 30-year-old assistant coach Joe Brady to thank for bringing them a version of the New Orleans Saints' offense, which they deployed with considerable effect against Clemson's defense.

Clemson managed to hold back LSU in the early part of the game. But then Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, a sophomore, found himself struggling. In the first quarter, he managed 161 yards and completed 10 of his first 15 throws.

But soon he seemed to stall, finishing the game with only 18 of 37 for 234 yards. It was Lawrence's only loss in 26 starts.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.
As NPR's Southern Bureau chief, Russell Lewis covers issues and people of the Southeast for NPR — from Florida to Virginia to Texas, including West Virginia, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. His work brings context and dimension to issues ranging from immigration, transportation, and oil and gas drilling for NPR listeners across the nation and around the world.
John Stempin