It's been a season of constantly growing accolades and records for LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, and now he's capped off the greatest season ever for a collegiate signal caller with a record-breaking performance in the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship. In a 42-25 victory over No. 3 Clemson on Monday night, the Heisman Trophy winner continued to set new records and pace LSU's historically good offense to the tune of 463 yards passing and six total touchdowns (five passing). He also added 58 yards on the ground and was named the game's Offensive MVP.
Burrow now owns the single-season FBS record for most touchdown passes with 60, breaking the record of 58 previously held by former Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan in 2006. To put Burrow's ridiculous numbers into context, he threw an average of four (yes, FOUR) touchdowns per game -- one per quarter. Burrow also holds the record for most touchdowns responsible for in a season with 65.
Burrow broke the records when he hit tight end Thaddeus Moss for a 4-yard score to push the LSU lead to 34-25 prior to the extra point. That gave Burrow four passing touchdowns on the night and five total scored in the most important game of the season.
Burrow also will finish the season with the following records:
- All-time passer rating: He entered Monday at 204.6, already No. 1, and will stay ahead of Tua Tagovailoa (199.4) with a 202.
- Total touchdowns in a national title game* (6)
- Total combined yards in national title game* (521) | Clemson QB Deshaun Watson held the previous record with 478
* In the BCS/CFP era
Additionally, LSU owns the FBS record for most points in a season (726), passing 2013 Florida State.
Burrow finishes the year with 5,671 yards passing, tying him with former Houston quarterback Case Keenum for third all-time in a season. In a cruel twist, however, his 31 of 49 performance on Monday cost him the record for completion percentage in a season. He entered Monday's game at 77.6 but saw it drops to 76.3. (In Burrow's defense, LSU's usually sure-handed wide receivers had some costly drops.) Former Texas QB Colt McCoy still owns the record at 76.7.
That's nit-picking. Burrow's 14 touchdowns in his postseason run were more than the Big Ten (13) or Pac-12 (11) has produced in the playoff's history, according to ESPN.
His record-breaking year wasn't just about him, though. Burrow's 60 touchdown passes were more than LSU's grand total as a program from 2014-17 when the Tigers accumulated 59 touchdowns through the air.
The numbers are stunning, but perhaps Burrow's greatest attribute -- and LSU's this season, really -- has been his ability to overcome any and all punches directed his way. Clemson's 17-7 lead in the second quarter was LSU's first double-digit deficit of the season. After a slow start, Burrow began hitting his stride at about the 10-minute mark of the second quarter. Clemson came into the game with a tremendous plan to confuse Burrow and penetrate LSU's pass protection, especially out of empty sets. Utilizing more defensive backs and giving Swiss Army knife linebacker Isaiah Simmons free range to do all sorts of crazy, athletic stuff, Clemson got lots of pressure on Burrow while maintaining tight coverage downfield.
But like every other game this season, eventually LSU found its groove. Burrow's ability to throw footballs into a bucket down the field has been unparalleled this year, evident by his two touchdown passes in the first half to wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase.
In a way, it's a good thing Burrow's career has come to a close because there are no more words to describe what a rare 2019 campaign he compiled and what he's meant to the Tigers program as a whole. You don't need the passage of time to know that Burrow's 2019 season special.
To be blunt but accurate, Burrow on Monday night completed the best individual effort by a college football quarterback in the 150 years the sport has existed.