On Monday, January 13, top-ranked Louisiana State University (LSU) competed against third ranked Clemson University in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football national championship. LSU previously beat Oklahoma in the semifinals by 35 points, putting them in the championship. Clemson beat Ohio State University by six points in their semifinal, landing them the second spot in the final. In the final game, LSU defeated Clemson by 17 points at their home field, the Mercedes Benz Superdome.
However, LSU’s first championship win since 2007 was no easy feat. In the first half, LSU was down by ten points, but as their offense clicked, they started scoring more and took control of the game eventually coming away with the win. Many attribute this success to the leadership and skill of Joe Burrow, LSUs quarterback. Burrow started his college career at Ohio State, and then after an impressive season, moved to LSU for the 2019-20 season. This season, Burrow threw over 5,600 yards for over sixty touchdowns: the most touchdowns scored in a single season by one player in NCAA history. In the final game, Burrow passed for 463 yards and six touchdowns, with no turnovers at all. His record-breaking season earned him the Heisman trophy, the MVP award for college football. Burrow’s 2019-20 season is regarded as one of the best seasons of a college quarterback in NCAA history and so it comes as no surprise that he and his team were so successful in the championship.
Hailing from South Carolina, the Clemson Tigers played well in the final game, with an early lead that was ultimately surpassed by Burrow and LSU’s offense. They had a successful season, finishing with the third best record in the league, and winning over critics. Will Vanderfor, a sports writer for the Clemson Insider, says “But what separates Clemson and why the best players want to come and play for Dabo Swinney [the head coach at Clemson] is not all about the championships and wins, though that helps. It is the way the program develops a young man into, not only better players, but better young men.”
Clemson displayed their top-notch teamwork and work ethic this season, with a total of 4,325 passing yards. Both teams put on an impressive show despite the final score. While LSU deserved the win, Clemson will no doubt be hungry for a national football championship title in the near future and be working hard to get there.