Joe Burrow Posts 8 TDs as LSU Romps Past Oklahoma to Reach CFP Championship Game

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2019

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) runs out of the pocket against Oklahoma during the first half of the Peach Bowl NCAA semifinal college football playoff game, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Joe Burrow may have already had the greatest season by a quarterback in college football history. He'll get a chance to etch that superlative in stone in the national championship game.

The LSU star accounted for eight touchdowns and Justin Jefferson hauled in four scores to lead the Tigers to a 63-28 win over Oklahoma in the 2019 Peach Bowl, a College Football Playoff semifinal, on Saturday.

After throwing for 48 touchdowns through the SEC Championship Game, Burrow became the seventh quarterback in FBS history to reach the 50-score mark and set numerous records in a seven-touchdown first half. His 55 touchdown passes are the second-most in history, three behind Hawaii's Colt Brennan's 2006 record.

LSU never trailed after scoring on its first drive, and Oklahoma seemed to fall apart after a couple of bad breaks in the first quarter. The officials missed an obvious pass interference call on a Jalen Hurts throw to Jadon Haselwood on third down, and the Tigers went up 21-7 on their subsequent drive after Terrace Marshall Jr. came back into the field of play to make a third-down reception after he was forced out of bounds.

The Tigers compiled 692 yards and led by as many as 42 points.

Hurts, playing his final collegiate game, struggled to find a rhythm. He finished with 217 yards on 15-of-31 passing.

LSU advanced to play Ohio State or Clemson on Jan. 13 in the CFP National Championship Game.


Notable Stats


QB Joe Burrow: 29-of-39, 493 YDS, 7 TD (5 ATT, 22 YDS, 1 TD)

RB Chris Curry: 16 ATT, 89 YDS

WR Justin Jefferson: 14 REC, 227 YDS, 4 TD

WR Terrace Marshall Jr.: 6 REC, 80 YDS, 2 TD

WR Thaddeus Moss: 4 REC, 99 YDS, 1 TD



QB Jalen Hurts: 15-of-31, 217 YDS, 1 INT (14 ATT, 43 YDS, 2 TD)

RB Kennedy Brooks: 10 ATT, 35 YDS, 1 TD

WR CeeDee Lamb: 4 REC, 119 YDS


Joe Burrow. That's It. That's the Headline.

ESPN @espn

Joe Burrow has 8 TOTAL TD 😱 #CFBPlayoff https://t.co/aTNiHGZWQ3

Here is a short list of the records set by Burrow on Saturday:

  • most touchdown passes in a half in a bowl game
  • most touchdown passes in a game in LSU history
  • most touchdown passes in a CFP game
  • most passing yards in a CFP game
  • tied for most touchdown passes in a half in FBS history
  • tied for most touchdown passes in a bowl game
  • added to records for touchdown passes and passing yards in a season in SEC history

It was a transcendent performance by a quarterback in the midst of perhaps the finest individual season in college football history. Burrow is nearing Brennan's single-season passing touchdowns record because he threw for seven in a half in the semifinals. Had Burrow thrown for seven touchdowns in the two playoff games combined, we'd laud his performances.

Burrow made the fourth-ranked team in the country look like a Division III practice squad. It was a football version of the "he's already dead" meme. Oklahoma kept giving Burrow open throws, and he kept taking them...and taking them...and taking them...until the fight was gone from the Sooners.

The second half was an exercise in mercy and preservation, with LSU simply looking to get out of Atlanta with its stars healthy.

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

Bengals fans watching Joe Burrow throw for 7 TDs in the first half https://t.co/cJy5EEYmEU

A win Jan. 13 would give Burrow, without a doubt, the single greatest season for a quarterback in college football history and one of the greatest sports performances ever. It would be 2007 Tom Brady if the New England Patriots had won the Super Bowl.

Cincinnati Bengals fans should go to bed feeling very lucky the team chose this season to fall apart.


If Jerry Jones Calls, Lincoln Riley Should Answer

Scott Bell @ScottBellDMN

I never thought Lincoln Riley made sense as a potential Jason Garrett replacement, but I’m a believer now. This game screams Dallas Cowboys to me.

The honeymoon phase for Lincoln Riley in Oklahoma might not be over, but it's getting there.

That's not to say Riley's job is not secure. Far from it. He could probably use NFL rumors as leverage to get another raise from Oklahoma after making his third straight appearance in the CFP.

That said, this performance was nothing short of an embarrassment. Riley's team didn't show up. Social media featured jokes about the Sooners' failures in the playoff. Three years, three games, three losses. It's a trend, and Riley's name won't be this hot again unless he finds a way to win a national championship.

B/R Betting @br_betting

How it feels betting Oklahoma 🙃 https://t.co/0ZTQH4TCVc

That probably won't happen in 2020. Oklahoma has only two underclassmen quarterbacks on scholarship for next season: Tanner Mordecai and Spencer Rattler. The Sooners' best shot at competing may be landing Utah State quarterback Jordan Love, who is reportedly considering a graduate transfer. But at some point, Riley will have to develop a quarterback himself.

Or he could make a leap to Sundays and perhaps have a 26-year-old star under center for the next decade in a loaded offense.

It's the world's worst-kept secret that Jerry Jones would write a blank check to have Riley as his next head coach. He's young, offensive-minded and comes from a program that has produced head coaches with which Jones has had success in the past. It's a no-brainer hire and would stave off criticism that Jones only wants a coach he can control.

From Riley's perspective, the Cowboys job may be the only one good enough for him to consider leaving Oklahoma. The team can use the franchise and transition tags to retain Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, once again giving it one of the most talented offenses in football.

Jones also showed an astounding level of patience with Jason Garrett. One could assume he'd extend the same to Riley, who would probably command a five-year contract pushing $10 million per year to leave a secure job at Oklahoma.

The time for the leap may be now.


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