ATLANTA -- No. 1 LSU throttled No. 4 Oklahoma 63-28 in the Peach Bowl national semifinal at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, and it will move on to the College Football Playoff National Championship on Jan. 13, 2020, in New Orleans. It was a record-setting day for the Tigers, starting with their Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback.
Senior Joe Burrow finished 29 of 39 with 493 yards passing and eight total touchdowns on the night. His seven touchdown passes are tied for the most in FBS bowl history, and the most in College Football Playoff, New Year's Six and Peach Bowl history. What's more, Burrow winner made more magic throughout the game with highlight-reel plays like this.
Wide receiver Justin Jefferson was his favorite target on the night. Jefferson caught 14 passes for 227 yards and four touchdowns. Those 227 yards are the most in Peach Bowl, New Year's Six and College Football Playoff history as well.
The Sooners offense couldn't get going against an LSU defense that made a living in the backfield, which was ultimately not much of a surprise considering the strength of the Tigers.
What did we learn on Saturday? CBS Sports will be back with takeaways from the Peach Bowl momentarily.
1. LSU is peaking at the right time: Burrow wrote his name in the record book so much on Saturday that it now reads more like an encyclopedia. But don't be blinded by the perfect hair, Heisman Trophy and shiny dimes that Burrow dropped to his receivers on Saturday. This LSU team is much more than its superstar quarterback.
The Tigers defense, specifically, was outstanding against the Sooners. The front seven owned the line of scrimmage against a very solid Oklahoma offensive line, sacked Hurts twice, made it extremely difficult for the Sooners rushing attack led by Kennedy Brooks to get going and held the Sooners to just 5 of 13 on third down opportunities. Or to put it more simply, the missing piece of LSU's national championship puzzle slid into place.
The LSU defense hasn't been great this year -- at least not by LSU standards -- but the dominating performance against the high-octane Sooners offense is the fourth straight game in which the defense has been lights out. The narrative that LSU's defense is a liability is outdated. This is a complete team that is peaking at the right time.
2. Great teams adjust like LSU did Saturday: With Clyde Edwards-Helaire limited, the Tigers had to find a way to provide another outlet for Burrow if Oklahoma loaded up on the back end to try to slow down LSU's stud receivers. Obviously, the Sooners didn't do a very good job of slowing them down, but LSU did throw in quite a few different looks underneath to make up for the absence of Edwards-Helaire as a receiver out of the backfield.
Tight end Thaddeus Moss had four catches for 99 yards and a touchdown. He did find his way upfield on several occasions, but offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger and the rest of the staff had Moss leaking out into the flat often on Saturday, which gave Burrow the safety valve that Edwards-Helaire was prior to the hamstring injury that he suffered in practice last week.
The ability to adjust is a recurring theme for this staff. When Auburn loaded up the back end to slow down LSU's receivers in their meeting in Death Valley in October, Edwards-Helaire made a huge impact with seven catches -- his most in a single game of the season up to that point. Great coaches read and react. LSU's staff does just that.
3. Oklahoma's defense was a fraud: Alex Grinch definitely made an impact when he came over from Ohio State to lead the Sooners defense as its coordinator, but this team is so far away from being competitive at a national level that it's laughable. They came in with the best defense in the Big 12 at 330.6 yards per game, but they were 127th in the nation in red zone defense coming into the game at 93.02 percent. This is why you shouldn't trust total defense.
LSU scored on all five of its red zone trips and racked up 692 total yards in the process.
Oklahoma is the puppy that makes a cute face and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy at the pet store. When you take it home, you suddenly realize that house-training it takes much longer than expected. That's where Oklahoma is right now. It doesn't have the talent or depth on the defensive side of the ball to deal with what the nation's best teams are bringing to the table.
4. Orgeron deserves the key to the state: Burrow stood on the stage in New York after winning the Heisman Trophy and said that Orgeron deserves a lifetime contract. After this magical season, that might not be too crazy. Orgeron, a defensive line coach by trade, swallowed his pride and constructed a 900-pound alligator that attacks its prey the moment it senses weakness. That's not an easy thing to do.
On Saturday, LSU got up 21-7 in the first quarter. In year's past, that meant that the staff could let off the gas a bit and coast to victory. Not this team. These Tigers continued to attack and put their opponent out of its misery before halftime. That's the new identity of LSU football. It's the identity that Orgeron set out to build. He combined the best athletes with the best coaches and created a super power.
It's a cajun gumbo that's getting better with age. Now Orgeron gets to cook something up for the home-state folks in the CFP National Championship in New Orleans.