ATLANTA (WAFB) - No. 1 LSU (14-0) will make to its fifth national title appearance after defeating No. 4 Oklahoma (12-2) 63-28 on Dec. 28 in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
LSU will face No. 3 Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020.
Clemson defeated No. 2 Ohio State 29-23 in the College Football Semifinal at Playstation Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz. on Dec. 28.
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow showed the country why he deserved to win the Heisman Trophy just two weeks before. Burrow went 29 of 39, throwing for 493 yards, seven touchdown passes, and no interceptions.
Wide receiver Justin Jefferson led the Tigers receiving core, catching 14 passes for 227 yards and four touchdowns. Chris Curry stepped up for the Tigers and rushed for 89 yards on 16 carries.
The game kicked off just hours after LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger’s daughter-in-law, Carley Ann McCord, and four other people died in a small plane crash in Lafayette, La. The plane was bound for Atlanta.
McCord, a Baton Rouge native, was a sports reporter for WDSU-TV in New Orleans and was scheduled to cover the game. She also worked as an in-game host for the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans.
The three other passengers were traveling to attend the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl.
McCord was married to Ensminger’s son Steve Ensminger, Jr. Coach O told ESPN shortly before the game that Ensminger would remain at the stadium to coach the game.
It was evident the Peach Bowl would be a long afternoon for the Oklahoma Sooners when LSU linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson sacked Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts was for a six-yard loss during the first play from scrimmage. The second play from scrimmage was another tackle for loss. The Sooners quickly finished the game’s opening drive with a 49-yard punt by Reeves Mundschau.
LSU wasted no time on the ensuing possession, with Joe Burrow completing a pass to Thaddeus Moss for 17 yards. Two plays later, LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson took Burrow’s pass 19 yards into the endzone for a touchdown.
The next two possessions resulted in punts for both the Sooners and Tigers. Then with 9:45 left in the first quarter, Oklahoma started a five-play, 69-yard touchdown drive that was set up with 51-yard pass to CeeDee Lamb to the LSU 3-yard line.
Running back Kennedy Brooks punched into the endzone for the Sooners on the following play.
LSU answered by going 75 yards in 9 plays ending with Burrow finding Terrance Marshall Jr. in the endzone. The drive also featured running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s first appearance of the game. Edwards-Helaire picked up a first down by running for 14 yards on the seventh play of the drive.
Hurts threw three consecutive incomplete passes on the Sooners’ ensuing possession.
2019 Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow then worked on putting together a 6 play, 86 yard touchdown drive. Marshall Jr. came up clutch on the drive, catching a 24-yard pass Burrow lobbed as he ran out of bounds on third down. Chris Curry ran for another 19 yards before Burrow threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Jefferson.
LSU led Oklahoma 21-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Oklahoma attempted to answer LSU’s two straight touchdown drives but only went 19 yards before having to punt.
On the following drive, Burrow used his legs for 11 yards on third down. Oklahoma cornerback Brendan Radley-Hiles was ejected from the game for targeting Edwards-Helaire on the next play. Burrow ran for 12 more yards before throwing a 42-yard touchdown pass to Jefferson, putting the Tigers up by 28 points.
The Sooners tried to answer but LSU safety Kary Vincent Jr. intercepted Hurts on the first play Oklahoma’s ensuing drive.
The Tigers took advantage of the turnover capped off a 6 play, 55-yard drive with Burrow throwing Jefferson a touchdown pass for the fourth time.
Hurts then led the Sooners 75 yards down the field and ran it in himself for a 2-yard touchdown to cut the Tigers lead to 21 points.
Twenty-seven seconds later, Moss extended the Tigers lead back to 28 points with a 62-yard touchdown pass from Burrow.
Oklahoma then went negative five yards in 3 plays before punting the ball back to the Tigers.
Burrow quickly marched the Tigers down the field in two minutes and four seconds and ended the drive by throwing his seventh touchdown pass of the game.
The Sooners went another negative two yards before the first half ended.
At halftime, LSU led Oklahoma 49-14. The Tigers ran 40 offensive plays for a total of 497 yards in the first half alone.
LSU received the second-half kickoff and put together a 13 play, 74-yard drive ending with Burrow running for 3 yards and a touchdown on fourth and one from the Sooners’ three-yard line.
Oklahoma would answer with Hurts running 12 yards for a touchdown on the next drive.
Burrow was sacked for the first time in the game on third down and four at the start of the fourth quarter. Kicker Cade York would miss a 46-yard field goal on the next play.
The Sooners would go 71-yards in 4:27 minutes with a one-yard touchdown run from T.J. Pledger.
Burrow would take a well-deserved seat with 9:30 minutes left in the 4th quarter. Sophomore quarterback Myles Brennan stepped in and went three for three, throwing for 39 yards on 9 play, 75-yard drive. Freshman running back John Emery Jr. would score on a six-yard touchdown run.
Oklahoma got the ball back with 3:51 minutes left in the game. The Sooners would be penalized ten yards for holding on the first play of their final drive.
Freshman Sooner quarterback Spencer Rattler completed an eight-yard pass and ran for eight yards before the Sooners turned it over on downs.
Two plays later, Brennan would kneel the ball to the run out the clock and punch LSU’s ticket to the College Football National Championship in New Orleans.
The LSU defense held Oklahoma to less than a hundred rushing yards and 225 passing yards. Hurts was sacked twice and intercepted once.
LSU will travel to New Orleans on Jan. 13, 2020 to take on No. 3 Clemson in the College Football National Championship in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The Tigers’ last trip to the Superdome was their last national title appearance. LSU lost to Alabama 21-0 on Jan. 9, 2012.
LSU won its last national title in the Superdome on Jan. 7, 2008 after defeating Ohio State 38-24.
The Tigers’ two previous national titles were in the 2003 and 1958 seasons.
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