NEW ORLEANS – In the end, you didn't just think of the LSU tigers as national champions. You and the mostly party political gathering of 76,885 in the Superdome had a quarter of a minute to think and celebrate.
No, when you saw the LSU for the last attack, the last few licks they gave to a proud Clemson team, you might be wondering if this might not be one of the great college football teams we have ever had have seen.
After schooling from 42 to 25, the LSU had victories against seven top 10 teams that were scattered among their 15 wins. His quarterback Joe Burrow would end the season with 60 touchdown passes. The Tigers were the second team to ever score more than 700 points. And they made Clemson, defending champion, two titles in the past three years look like a different soccer team. With the last weapon, it was a fair question.
The Superdome was fully charged half an hour before kickoff. As expected, the LSU was a little more than 2 to 1 inferior to the Clemson fans, but this did not mean that Clemson's crew was bathed in silence. On the contrary, when Clemson's tigers roared onto the field, they were greeted with deafening noise.
That unleashed the tongue of the other Tiger fans. When the LSU entered the field, it was necessary to check whether the roof had not fallen. After 15 days of waiting everyone was ready to play this game: players, coaches, fans. Everyone.
And what everyone covered was a 60-minute explanation of why these were so clearly the two best teams in the sport. From kick-off to the last weapon, the talent was exceptionally high and almost breathtaking: offensive, defense, special teams.
With at least three or four games, it was just an exemplary defensive game that prevented a win of 70 or 75 meters. This would have been the case against about 105 other teams. Against these two snarling reflections, it was just a great exchange of blows, a heavyweight fight that had something to offer everyone.
Clemson took the lead 17: 7, and that seemed to burst the bubble of the two-thirds of the dome, which was clad in purple and gold. For a good portion of the first half, it actually looked like Clemson was going to extend two amazing strips:
From 29 to 30 – like in the winning streak.
And from 741 to 742, as in the number of days since the Tigers last lost a soccer game.
This was largely due to the fact that Trevor Lawrence, Clemson's second quarterback, who came into the game as a college starter with a flawless 24-0 win, was as usual electric and drilled the ball to open the receivers and Clemson Diversify offense with your legs. This 17-7 tour has certainly drawn the LSU's attention.
"We had a bad starting position at the beginning, but we started to click," LSU coach Ed Orgeron said at halftime. “We found out what they were doing and we started moving football. We had some critical stops with our defense. "
And even in the middle of the biggest game of his life, Orgeron knew exactly what he saw, what he participated in,
"It's a damn good soccer game," he said.
Good for Orgeron that he has a damn good soccer team – and some of the most talented players you've ever seen, starting with Heisman Trophy winner Burrow. For a while it looked as if Clemson had been able to kidnap the special sauce that had prevented the tigers from flying up all year round.
And then LSU suddenly snatched the game back.
The Tigers scored three touchdowns in the second quarter. The last touchdown came within 10 seconds when Burrow pulled you to the close end of Thaddeus Moss, absorbing a hard shot in the ribs.
"We just have to play smarter, man," said Clemson coach Dabo Swinney during the break. At this point, the LSU had taken the lead with 28:17. "We have two great teams and now it's their turn. Let's see how we're done."
In Clemson's favor, he did exactly what he had to do to open the second half, forcing the LSU to play a three-and-three. Immediately afterwards, Travis Etienne scored a goal with a quick six-game drive of 50 meters from three meters and then Lawrence, who finds Amari Rodgers for a two-point conversion.
Suddenly it was 28-25 and the Clemson third of the dome was dizzy. That only grew when Clemson forced another threesome. Suddenly the game was very balanced.
And then it wasn't. The LSU allowed a first failure and nothing more. It was in another duel between Burrow and Moss to 35:25 success and two series later, three minutes after the beginning of the fourth quarter, Burrow found Terrace Marshall for his fifth goal of the day. LSU fans could now try it. First title since 2007-08. First unbeaten season since 1958/59. And maybe, just maybe, one of the best teams ever.