NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AP) LSU wins its fourth national championship, ending Clemson’s 29-game winning streak with a 42-25 victory in the title game.
Joe Burrow’s magical season continues as the Heisman Trophy winner has set an NCAA record in the College Football Playoff championship game.
The quarterback’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Thaddeus Moss has given No. 1 LSU a 35-25 lead over No. 3 Clemson in the third quarter of the national championship game.
The throw also gave Burrow an NCAA single-season record 59 TD passes. It was also the second touchdown catch of the game for Moss, the son of Hall-of-Fame NFL receiver Randy Moss.
Moss’ first TD came at the end of the first half from 6 yards out.
LSU’s latest score was set up by Ja’Marr Chase’s 43-yard gain on a catch-and-run on third-and 11. That gave Chase, who also has two touchdowns, 218 yards receiving on eight catches.
Shortly after, Clemson’s leading tackler James Skalski, was ejected for targeting after his hit on LSU receiver Justin Jefferson. The linebacker’s personal foul set up LSU on the Clemson 4.
Clemson had cut LSU’s 11-point halftime lead to 28-25 earlier in the quarter on Louisiana native Travis Etienne’s 3-yard run, followed by Trevor Lawrence’s pass to Amari Rodgers.
Burrow’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Moss, set up by the quarterback’s 29-yard, third down scramble, gave LSU a 28-17 lead over Clemson at halftime.
After a slow start that saw LSU fail to cross its own 11 on its first two series, Burrow and Co. found their rhythm. LSU finished the second quarter with three unanswered touchdowns to erase a 10-point deficit that was its largest this season.
The game was billed as a high-scoring, back-and-forth affair. But the teams each punted twice on their opening two possessions.
It's practically a home game for LSU. Its campus is just 90 minutes away and purple-and-gold clad supporters could be found all around New Orleans.
There were plenty of orange-wearing Clemson fans on the streets, hoping their team wins a second straight national championship. A second-story veranda near Jackson Square boasted Clemson flags from its 2016 and 2018 national titles, along with an inflatable Tiger figure.
Clemson is after its third crown in four seasons and its 30th straight victory.
LSU is seeking its first national championship since 2007 and first in the CFP era.
Both sets of Tigers are 14-0, seeking to cap a perfect season.
President Donald Trump arrived at the New Orleans Superdome shortly before the game’s scheduled kickoff. He was accompanied by his wife, first lady Melania Trump and South Carolina U.S. senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott. Graham and Scott are Republican, like the president.
The president and first lady walked onto the field shortly before the game for the singing of the National Anthem. Fans from both teams cheered him loudly. Some greeted him with cheers of “USA, USA." Others chanted “four more years."
Trump predicted that it will be a “great game” as he departed the White House.
Trump is familiar with LSU. He attended a November game in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, when the Tigers beat the Crimson Tide.
The president hosted many of Clemson’s players and coaches at the White House in January 2019 after the team won the 2018 national championship.