Many times in sports history, a team climbs within feet of the highest mountaintop, only to fall short at the doorstep of history.
Don’t count these LSU Tigers among them.
LSU put the exclamation point on what many are calling the greatest season in its football program’s history Monday night, defeating Clemson 42-25 to earn the national championship of college football and seal the second unbeaten season in school history. LSU finished a perfect 15-0.
In St. Charles Parish, there’s some central hometown pride to go along with the expected thrills for LSU’s rabid statewide fanbase. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson, defensive end Glen Logan and running back John Emery Jr., each a former Destrehan Wildcat, may now call himself a national champion and a member of perhaps the most dominating team in Tigers history.
On the heels of a monstrous national semifinal performance, Jefferson had strong encore performance, hauling in nine receptions for 106 yards. His presence, in the wake of his four touchdowns against Oklahoma, no doubt drew some attention away from Ja’Marr Chase, whose relatively quiet semifinal preceded a nine catch, 221 yard, two touchdown performance on Monday night.
Logan, meanwhile, made his impact felt defensively along with his fellow members of the Tigers’ defensive front. He made a tackle for loss and earned a half sack to go with two tackles, helping LSU to hold Clemson to its lowest point total since September.
And while Emery didn’t see action Monday night, his time is no doubt approaching. After an injury forced him out of Destrehan’s state semifinal game in 2018, the true freshman and former top ranked rushing recruit now has a championship ring and will look to build on a collegiate season that saw him average nearly five yards a carry and score four touchdowns in his time on the field.
LSU finished the 2019 season with a resume that arguably rivals any team in NCAA history.
*The Tigers bested seven teams ranked in the top 10 at the time of their matchup: Texas (9), Florida (7), Auburn (9), Alabama (3), Georgia (4), Oklahoma (4) and Clemson (3).
*Entering Monday night’s game, Clemson carried a 29-game win streak into the night and had not lost in more than 700 days. Dabo Swinney’s team had captured two of the past three national championships.
*LSU’s final three wins, each over a top five ranked team, came decisively. The Tigers downed Georgia, Oklahoma and Clemson by an average of 26.3 points.
*LSU quarterback Joe Burrow’s Heisman Trophy season ends with the passer demolishing the NCAA record book. He has the best-ever single season marks for passing touchdowns (60), most touchdowns accounted for (65), and quarterback rating (202). He has the second most passing yards ever in a season (5,671) and second best completion percentage (76.3). He did all of this in the Southeastern Conference.
*LSU holds the mark for most FBS points scored in a single season (726).