No. 1 LSU defeats No. 3 Clemson in CFP National Championship
No. 1 LSU has won its fourth national title in school history by defeating No. 3 Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Jan. 13.
LSU ended Clemson’s 29-0 run.
Clemson’s first play from scrimmage was a play for no gain.
On the next play, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence completed a 35-yard pass to wide receiver Justyn Ross. Lawrence then threw to Jennings, La., native Travis Etienne for the first time, for a 19-yard gain.
However, Clemson was not able to build on the early momentum and Grant Delpit’s sack of Lawrence forced the first punt of the game. Clemson punter Will Spiers pinned LSU on their own 7-yard line.
On LSU’s first play from scrimmage, Joe Burrow showcased the skills that earned him the Heisman Trophy by scrambling to evade a safety and found Thadeus Moss 38-yards downfield. However, the play was negated because LSU was penalized for having an ineligible player downfield.
Pinned back in their own enzone, Burrow and the LSU offense wasn’t able to do much of anything with their first possession except successfully punt.
Clemson and LSU would trade punts before either got on the board. Lawrence led Clemson on a five-play, 67-yard drive, running in the touchdown himself from the one-yard line with 6:34 left in the first quarter. It was the first time LSU had trailed in a game since the second quarter against No. 9 Auburn on Oct. 26, 2019.
Kicker B.T. Potter gave Clemson the lead again, with an impressive 52-yard field goal, ending a drive that started with 2:20 left in the first quarter.
Burrow showed off his running ability with a 20-yard gain on first-down. Unfortunately, Burrow would throw three incomplete passes before a 44-yard punt from Zach Von Rosenberg that rolled to the Clemson 4-yard line.
Pinned deep in their own territory, Clemson flexed its offensive muscles moving 96 yards down the field in 4 plays and 1:32. Lawrence connected with Ross again for 24 yards and Etienne ran for 36 yards on two carries before wide receiver Tee Higgins found the endzone on a 36-yard reverse.
After Burrow was sacked for a nine-yard loss, Clemson cornerback Derion Kendrick was penalized for pass interference on Marshall Jr., moving LSU to midfield.
LSU received the second-half kickoff but went three and out, with Burrow getting sacked for seven yards on third down.
Clemson started their first drive of the quarter with excellent field position. Lawrence and company patiently engineered an answer to LSU’s 21 points with a 6-play 50-yard drive in just over two and a half minutes.
LSU linebacker K’lavon Chaisson extended Clemson’s drive with a critical face mask penalty while attempting to tackle Lawrence as he ran for seven yards. Etienne ran for 19 yards and a touchdown to narrow LSU’s lead from 11 to five points.
With just 42 seconds left in the third quarter, LSU would start its sixth touchdown drive of the game.
Burrow would throw to five different receivers for 61 yards, with Marshall Jr. catching his first touchdown pass of the night.
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