NEW ORLEANS — As the final seconds of the clock ticked down inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the LSU Tigers put a bow on an unforgettable season on the Bayou. They beat Clemson 42-25 to win their fourth national championship in school history. In so doing, the Fighting Tigers broke a ridiculous amount of records en route to college football’s mountaintop.

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow broke the single-season passing touchdown record (finished with 60) and LSU set the single-season points record in the poll era (726, beating 2013 Florida State’s 723 in 14 games) by closing out a 15-0 season.

The win marked LSU’s first title of the College Football Playoff era and its first national title since winning the Bowl Championship Series crown in the 2007 season. Burrow, who broke Hawai’i QB Colt Brennan’s pass TD record, finished the game 31-for-49 for 463 yards and five touchdowns. Biletnikoff Award winner Ja’Marr Chase had nine catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns. Chase’s receiving yards are the most by a player in a title game in the BCS/CFP era.

“This is what I wanted to do from the time I was 5 years old, was hoist this trophy. And bringing it back to Louisiana,” Burrow said, then caught himself. “I guess we’re in Louisiana, but staying in Louisiana, we weren’t going to let someone come in here and steal this from us in our home state. We have a great fan base that came out and supported us. We were going to keep this thing right here.”

With the win, LSU ended Clemson’s 29 game winning streak. Moreover, LSU tallied 628 yards and six touchdowns on a Clemson team that came in allowing 264 yards and 11.5 points per game.

In Tuesday morning’s press conference, LSU’s head coach Ed Orgeron eluded to the amount of talent that could leave his program for the NFL draft.

“It will be difficult to replace these guys, but you’re at LSU so you should be able to do it,” Orgeron said Tuesday, about 10 hours after celebrating amid the falling confetti at the Superdome.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, receiver Justin Jefferson and safety Grant Delpit are among seven players from LSU’s national championship team who’ve stated their intention to enter the NFL draft. Also, offensive linemen Saahdiq Charles and Lloyd Cushnberry, and linebackers Patrick Queen and Jacob Phillips also announced their intention to turn pro Wednesday.

“This whole experience has never been about just this team,” LSU safety Grant Delpit explained after the victory. “This was always about a homecoming for the whole state, here in this city where we have all been through so much.”

Sixty LSU players come from Louisiana and several players were displaced by Katrina in 2005. That was not lost on the mind of Coach Orgeron.

“There’s a lot of things you can look at this game for motivation, and the only motivation we’ve used is to finish strong and focus on winning the game,” Orgeron said before the game. “But those external motivations are there. These guys have always wanted to play in the Dome. Grant is from New Orleans. His family was displaced from Katrina. All his family will be there. It will mean more to our guys that we’re playing here in New Orleans for the championship, no question.”

From Baton Rouge, Delacroix, New Orleans to Shreveport and all points in between, the state of Louisiana seemingly shut down for the four days leading up to the National Championship game. LSU went one step further and announced the cancellation of classes on Monday and Tuesday. Even Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards declared during his state of the state address, Monday would be “one of the biggest events in the history of this state.” Talk that Monday’s National Championship game could have a bigger impact than the $270 million earned during 2012’s title game weekend wasn’t just a grand idea, it became a thing!

A state and a region loves their football. They look at the New Orleans Saints as their heroes. But also, the 2019 LSU Tigers delivered not only for their school, but for Cajuns, Creoles and football loving Louisianans around America. Orgeron made sure to let his rivals in the Southeastern Conference know he won’t rest on his laurels.

“We’re going to enjoy this,” Orgeron said. “But it’s a recruiting weekend this weekend, we’ll start recruiting and get on to next year.”

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) fawns over the College Football Playoff National Championship trophy on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Photo: The Atlanta Voice/Itoro N. Umontuen

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...

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