NEW ORLEANS — Joe Burrow threw five touchdown passes, ran for another score and capped one of the greatest seasons in college football history by leading No. 1 LSU to a 42-25 victory against No. 3 Clemson on Monday night to win the national championship.
The small-town Ohio kid turned Louisiana legend delivered the Tigers (15-0) their first national title since 2007 and fourth overall, breaking a few more records along the way in what was already an historic season. The five TD passes and 463 yards passing are the most for a BCS or College Football Playoff title game as are his six total touchdowns.
He became the first major college quarterback to throw 60 touchdown passes in a season as LSU snapped defending national champion Clemson's 29-game winning streak. For the first time in his college career, Clemson star quarterback Trevor Lawrence was on the losing team. The Tigers (14-1) had won his first 25 starts.
But on this night, Lawrence (18 for 37 for 234 yards) was no match for Burrow — the Ohio State transferred who threw all of 16 TD passes last season with LSU.
His ascent has been dizzying and unprecedented. Running a version of the New Orleans Saints' offense that was brought to LSU by 30-year-old assistant coach Joe Brady, Burrow and an array of talented receivers transformed these Tigers into one of the most prolific offenses college football has ever seen.
Clemson had an answer for every situation in recent years, whether it was a 14-0 Alabama team with an offense that appeared unstoppable or a 13-0 Ohio State squad led by two Heisman finalists.
But with a national championship on the line, Dabo Swinney, Trevor Lawrence and company finally met their match.
The Clemson sophomore quarterback was outdueled by LSU senior Joe Burrow, who passed for 465 yards and five touchdowns, doing what no other offense came close to all year against Brent Venables' defense.
Clemson entered the game leading the nation in scoring defense, allowing 11.5 points per game, and had not allowed more than 23 points in a game all season. LSU had 28 at halftime and didn't slow down as Burrow connected with Ja'Marr Chase and Thaddeus Moss for two touchdowns each and also found Terrace Marshall for a score.
President Donald Trump was part of a star-studded crowd that also featured Saints quarterback Drew Brees and former Clemson stars Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence and Austin Bryant.