NEW ORLEANS — No. 1 LSU overcame a sluggish start to beat No. 3 Clemson 42-25 in a battle of unbeaten teams at the Superdome to capture the program's third national championship since 2003 and the first under coach Ed Orgeron.
In doing so, LSU became the second team since 1897 to go 15-0 in a season, joining 2018 Clemson. The win cements the Tigers’ place among the great teams to ever come out of the SEC and adds this year's team into the conversation for the best Bowl Subdivision team of the past 30 years.
There was a time on Monday night when the two national powers circled one another like heavyweights, trading punts like jabs as the pair eased into the national championship game.
Comfort zone established with minutes left in the first quarter, the matchup of college football's last two unbeaten teams met pregame expectations. Behind two elite quarterbacks and a wealth of NFL-ready talent, LSU and Clemson began trading more serious blows as the offenses took over the spotlight.
Clemson scored first on a Trevor Lawrence touchdown. LSU drew even. Clemson went ahead 17-7 with 10:38 left in the second quarter. LSU made it 17-14 on the ensuing drive after a short Joe Burrow touchdown run. After forcing a Clemson punt, LSU marched 87 yards on six plays in just over two minutes to take the 21-14 lead. Another Burrow touchdown strike late in the second quarter sent LSU into halftime with a 28-17 lead. After a sluggish start, the floodgates had opened — and even against Clemson's dynasty, LSU looked unstoppable.