We're running out of ways to describe how historic this LSU offense is
Forget the rankings.
Forget the records.
Forget the awards.
And while you’re at it, forget the opponent in the College Football Playoff Championship in 16 days.
The performance of Joe Burrow, the LSU offense and the Tigers as a whole Saturday transcends any of that other stuff.
It requires a moment to step back and try to appreciate the degree of excellence as both an individual entity and as the latest, most significant chapter in a distinctive if not unique 14-act story.
Burrow has had one of the greatest seasons of any college football player ever – as evidenced by his record margin in winning the Heisman Trophy.
Along the way he led No. 1 LSU to one of the most impressive seasons in NCAA history – a 13-0 record and a relatively easy march to the SEC championship.
But the 63-28 victory over No. 4 Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Peach Bowl was off the charts even for this quarterback and this offense and this team.
No need to list all the numbers and records.
— Kate Adams (@up2datewkate) December 29, 2019
But it’s worth noting that Burrow passed for 403 yards and 7 touchdowns as LSU had the game in hand at halftime with a 49-14 lead.
Burrow rushed 3 yards for a touchdown on the first possession of the third quarter and Myles Brennan replaced Burrow in the 4th quarter and drove the Tigers to John Emery II’s 6-yard touchdown run.
It wasn’t certain whether one of the Tigers’ key weapons – leading rusher Clyde Edwards-Helaire – would play after not practicing in the wake of a hamstring injury in practice more than a week earlier.
Edwards-Helaire tested the injury and looked fine, though he had just 2 carries for 14 yards before it became apparent he wasn’t needed. Chris Curry did a nice job in his place – rushing for 88 yards on 15 carries – but the running game as a whole wasn’t much needed.
Burrow did what he has done all year – make excellent decisions and deliver strikes to his stable of wide receivers for big plays. OU couldn’t get to him, rarely pressured him and couldn’t guard his receivers – not Thaddeus Moss (1 touchdown), not Terrance Marshall Jr. (2 touchdowns) and certainly not Justin Jefferson (4 touchdowns).
When the game was over, LSU had a 5,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard rusher and 2 1,000-yard receivers. No other team in college football history has done that.
In fact, there’s a lot of stuff this team has done that no other college football team has done – both in the quantifiable and the unquantifiable.
The statistics demonstrate the quantifiable. But the unquantifiable is a little harder to get a handle on.
Has any other team ever had the level of offensive precision and productivity – either in the first half of Saturday’s epic performance or over the course of a season that has featured 6 games against top 10 teams?
Amid all the eye-popping offense stuff LSU continued to grow as a complete team as it has been doing during the final third of the season.
The defense swarmed Jalen Hurts, the distant Heisman runner-up, and the Sooners’ offense, which was the 5th-most productive in the country.
Head coach Ed Orgeron and his staff had the Tigers ready to roll from the opening kickoff. OU went 3-and-out on its first 2 possessions for the first time this season.
It was over in the 2nd quarter.
There was much talk during the regular season about eye tests and whether LSU or Ohio State should have been the No. 1 team.
There will be much talk during the next 2 weeks about whether the Tigers’ next opponent can win and how they might accomplish that when no one else has been able to and after the No. 4 team in the country was overwhelmed.
But that talk is for another day.
For now, all that matters is appreciating the signature performance in a season that is becoming less and less comparable to others.