By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
The LSU Fighting Tigers 2019 Football Team will be playing for the National Championship in New Orleans on January 13th, as they blasted the Oklahoma Sooners in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, 63-28.
LSU's defense set the tone on the first play of the game, as K'Lavon Chaisson sacked Jalen Hurts for a six yard loss. The Sooners would go three & out quickly. After a poor 24 yard punt by Reeves Mundschau, the Tigers would start their first drive at the Oklahoma 42 yard line. Joe Burrow only took three plays to go the 42 yards, hitting Justin Jefferson on a 19 yard touchdown pass down the center of the field. York would convert his kick, 7-0 Tigers. After both teams traded punts, Oklahoma would tie things up. Jalen Hurts connected with CeeDee Lamb on a 51 yard pass down to the LSU three yard line. On the next play, Kennedy Brooks would fight his way into the end zone for the score. 7-7 with 7:34 to go in the first quarter. With Oklahoma gaining momentum, LSU would answer, going 75 yards on nine plays as Burrow would roll left and hit Terrace Marshall Jr. in stride crossing the field for a 8 yard touchdown and a 14-7 lead, quieting the Sooners' crowd. The LSU defense again shut down Hurts and the Oklahoma offense forcing another punt. Burrow once again drove the Tigers down field quickly, ending the 86 yard drive with a perfect throw to a wide open Justin Jefferson for a 35 yard touchdown to conclude the scoring in the first quarter. 21-7.
The Sooners still found it difficult to move the ball as the 2nd quarter began. giving the ball back to LSU with 14:11 to go in the first half. Starting at their own 20 yard line, the Tigers would go the length of the field in only six plays. Burrow would again hit Justin Jefferson for a score. This time from 42 yards out. The diving touchdown grab would make it 28-7. But the Tigers were not finish flexing their offensive muscles yet. On the first play of the next Oklahoma possession, the Sooners tried some trickery that back fired badly, as Kary Vincent intercepted Jalen Hurts pass. LSU took over, again, with a "kill a flea with a sledge hammer" attitude. Six plays and 55 yards later, the Tigers were up 35-7. Burrow threw his 5th touchdown pass of the half as he completed a 30 yard touchdown to his favorite target of the day, Mr. Jefferson. The score was Justin Jefferson's 4th touchdown grab of the contest. With 9:17 to go until halftime, Oklahoma battled back, driving 75 yard in 10 plays, as Jalen Hurts would score on a 2 yard touchdown run. Once again, LSU's offense quickly killed any momentum that the Sooners had just built. This time, it took only 2 plays. Burrow hit a wide open Thad Moss running down the sidelines, who outraced the Sooners' secondary into the end zone for the score. 42-14 with 4:18 to go in the first half. LSU again quickly got the ball back after a Oklahoma three & out, and continued their video game like, offensive assault on the Sooners defense. Burrow would hit Terrace Marshall from two yards out for another touchdown with 50 seconds remaining in the period. Oklahoma would limp badly into their locker room trailing the #1 ranked, powerhouse Tigers, 49-14.
Burrow at the half was 21/27, 403 yards passing, seven, (that's right), SEVEN touchdown passes. Justin Jefferson had 9 grabs for 186 yards and four touchdowns. When LSU chose to run the ball, they were successful as they had 94 yards on 13 carries. They finished the first half with 497 yards offensively. The defense was solid, holding Oklahoma to only 160 total yards of offense. Sacking Hurts twice, both by Chaisson, and forcing several three & out possessions.
The Tigers took the opening kickoff of the second half and continued to make a statement. Burrow directed LSU on their longest drive of the day to this point, going 74 yards in 13 plays, eating 4:49 off the clock. On 4th and one at the Oklahoma three yard line, Joe Burrow went under center, took the snap, and pushed forward of tackle for the score. 56-14 Tigers! The Sooners, now only playing for pride and garbage points, mercifully went on a six minute drive, (keeping Burrow off the field), in 13 plays. On 4th and 9 from the LSU 12 yard line, Hurts was able to out run the Tiger defense, diving to the pylon for the score, making it 56-21 with 4:19 to go in the third quarter. LSU would begin their next drive, taking it into the final quarter.
LSU's drive would stall at the Oklahoma 28, setting up a 46 yard field goal attempt. Cade York's kick hit the left upright, bouncing away no good with 14:06 left in the ball game. Oklahoma continued to show no quit in them, driving 71 yards in 9 plays, with T.J. Pledger punching it in from one yard out. 56-28, Tigers. With all the nails driven into the Oklahoma coffin. Coach O pulled Burrow, putting in Miles Brennan and other reserves to finish the clean up. Brennan lead the offense on a nice scoring drive, highlighted by the beast-mode running of Chris Curry and a couple of key Brennan to Derrick Dillon completions. The Tigers went 75 yards in nine plays, taking 5:40 off the game clock, as John Emry Jr. scored on a six yard run. With only 3:59 left to go in the game, LSU continued their domination over the Sooners. From there, the Sooners would turn it over on downs, and the Tigers would run out the clock in victory formation.. The final score from the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., LSU - 63, Oklahoma 28.
The Tigers dominated Oklahoma in every phase of the game. Offensively, LSU still seems to be unstoppable. It seems like records are set and broken in every ball game, pilling up points and yardage at will. The Tigers finished with 692 total yards of offense. Joe Burrow finished the game with mind boggling numbers. 29/39, 493 yds passing, 7 touchdowns passing, and another score on the ground. The receivers had an outstanding game, lead by Justin Jefferson's 227 yards rec. on 14 grabs, and four touchdowns. Terrace Marshall Jr. had 80 yds on 6 catches and found the end zone twice. Thad Moss stepped up with four catches, 99 yards and a touchdown. Ja'Marr Chase had a good game early. On the ground, Chris Curry ran hard and punished tacklers every time he got to touch the ball, finishing with 90 yds on 16 carries. Myles Brennan came in and played well in the 4th quarter, going 3/3, 39 yards, and completed a couple of big throws to keep a scoring drive alive. The 63 points scored tonight by the Tigers set a record for the most scored in a College Football Playoff and New Year's Six games. LSU is also the first college football team of all-time to feature a 5,000 yard passer, (Burrow), 1,000 yard rusher, (Edwards-Helaire), and two 1,000 yard receivers, (J. Chase & J. Jefferson). The defense had been the target of the national media, through most of the season, labelled as the team's weakness. Since the Ole Miss game, major improvement has been shown. They make more than enough defensive stops in a game needed for victory. Tonight, they played lights out, giving up only garbage points after the game was already decided. They held Oklahoma to 322 total yards, (only 97 on the ground). They put pressure on Jalen Hurts all game long, sacking him twice and picking him off once. The secondary had a solid game covering the dangerous Oklahoma receivers. Jacob Phillips and Patrick Queen both lead the team in tackles tonight with 8 each. K'Lavon Chaisson finished with 6 tackles & two sacks.
The Tigers will now wait to see who their opponent will be in the National Championship Game. Ohio State battles Clemson tonight in the other CFP game.
We also want to send out our thoughts and prayers to Steve Ensminger and his family, after the loss of his daughter-in-law, sports reporter, Carley McCord, who died in a tragic plane crash early this morning. God Bless you all during this difficult time.
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!