Skip to main content

Three Observations: 2019 LSU Offense the Greatest of All Time and the Legacy of Coach Ed Orgeron

Defense clamps down on Lawrence in the second half

Between the confetti, the cigars and overwhelming pride that lied on the LSU player's faces in the postgame locker room, it was the quote LSU quarterback Joe Burrow gave to ESPN reporter Maria Taylor after the game that stood out above all the rest.

Taylor asked what Burrow's ring size was.

"10.5," Burrow said without hesitation. "We've already been fitted for them."

That little exchange just goes to show the confidence this LSU team had in its ability and has really had all season. They treat each and every game as the most important because when you're chasing perfection, that's all that matters.

On Monday night, after all of those practices, those preparations and those sensational Saturday performances, LSU is back on top of the college football world. Here were a few takeaways from the championship win.

The 2019 LSU offense will go down as the greatest all time.

Just put these College Football Playoff records in a vacuum for a second. Burrow broke nearly every postseason record for a quarterback including most passing yards (985), most touchdowns (12) and most touchdowns in a national championship (5).

Wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase simply broke the yardage record for a national championship game with 221 yards and two touchdowns. Yet that doesn't even begin to describe the records and precision this offense played with in this historic 2019 season. No, Monday was simply the icing on the cake.

Burrow set the NCAA record for passing touchdowns in a single season, becoming the first quarterback to ever throw for 60 touchdowns in a single season. His 65 total touchdowns responsible for was also an NCAA record. He won the Maxwell, the Davey O'Brien and became just the sixth quarterback to win the Heisman, go undefeated and win a national championship in the same season.

"Feels good. I don't know what else to say. I mean, there's been so many people that have come into this, from people that have helped me along my journey from Ohio, Louisiana, everywhere," Burrow said. "We couldn't have done it with a better group of guys, not just football players but great, great men that I just feel blessed to be a part of this."

Chase set his own record, becoming the first SEC player to record 20 touchdowns in a season after his 221-yard, two touchdown performance against Clemson. Chase also broke the LSU receiving yards record with 1,780 on the season, passing Josh Reed who had 1,740 in 2001.

As a whole, the LSU offense became the first in NCAA history to feature a 5,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers.

"We accomplished something big for LSU, something big for Louisiana, for Baton Rouge," Chase said. "We just put on for the state."

"It hasn't sunk in yet. We're still celebrating. Give us a couple of days," Burrow said. "We've got tonight, we've got the rest of this week. We're going to enjoy this one. A lot of work was put into this that nobody ever saw, Saturdays, Sundays, seven days a week for 12 months. This is special."

Ed Orgeron's legacy in Baton Rouge is unrivaled

Scroll to Continue

Read More

Orgeron sat at the postgame podium Monday night grinning ear-to-ear when talking about this special season and team. When he was asked how he felt personally to bring a championship to his home state in his home state, Orgeron redirected the question, talking about the players and the LSU fans all across Louisiana.

Nick Saban was respected, Les Miles was beloved but there's an obvious extra cadence that Orgeron brings to the head coaching job at LSU. Whether it's his Cajun heritage or his blue collar attitude, the fourth year Tiger coach is leaving a legacy all on his own.

And it's just the start.

"Whether we're mentioned as one of the greatest teams or not, that doesn't matter to me," Orgeron said. "I think we're going to get to work, we'll go to class on Wednesday and we'll start working on next year."

Just minutes after accomplishing a life long dream, one that five years ago he never knew would be possible to accomplish, Orgeron is talking about preparing for next year. 

LSU accomplished something what no other team has ever done in college football, beating seven top-10 teams in the same season while at the same time defeating the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 preseason teams as well. It was a historic coaching season, one that earned Orgeron the AP, Home Depot and Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Awards.

However, none was sweeter than lifting the national championship trophy over his head.

"I remember sitting on the sofa at my house, I had a year to reflect. I remember watching SEC games, knowing I can compete with these guys given the right place," Orgeron said. "I mean, you've got to be at a place like LSU and have great coaches and great players to win it. I don't think I could have been somewhere else and had the success that we had so fast. So I think it's a combination of being in the right place at the right time. I think it's perseverance, too. Man, people are going to talk and all that, but you can't let it affect you. I use that as internal motivation. People, they tease me the way I talk, tease me the way I look, and it's kind of funny, the things that I was doing at Ole Miss I was ridiculed for, and now I punch myself in the jaw and everybody at LSU likes it, so it just depends where you're at. It's been a great ride."

And like he said earlier in his postgame comments, it's a ride that's just getting started.

Defense clamps down on Trevor Lawrence, Clemson in second half, proving to be one of the best in the country.

LSU freshman cornerback Derek Stingley had something happen to him that hasn't happened all season, he was rarely targeted. Stingley was targeted the most of any LSU player by a country mile this season, but on Monday he was targeted just six times, allowing one recpetion for 12 yards.

Trevor Lawrence and the Clemson offense had success in attacking the middle of the field and for a half, throwing at Kristian Fulton. Much like the rest of the season, Fulton would take it as a compliment when teams didn't throw at him and so does the freshman.

"I take it as a compliment," Stingley said. "All week we were focused on was how good of a passer Trevor Lawrence is knowing that he can make the perfect throw. We just focused on playing tight on the receivers."

Stingley said the secondary knew that communication was a problem in the first half and the unit wanted to get that fixed for the final 30 minutes. Lawrence and in particular tight end Braden Galloway gashed the defense for two long passing plays on busted coverage and took a 17-7 lead in the second quarter. 

From that point on the defense dominated. Lawrence and the Clemson offense would go 1-for-11 on third downs en route to the first loss of Lawrence's career and the worst passing game of his career.

LSU forced punts on five consecutive second half drives and a fumble on the sixth and final drive. The 108 yards in the second half were fueled by consistent pressure on Lawrence and clamping down on running back Travis Etienne, who rushed for just 18 yards in the final 30 minutes.

"I think the one thing is we stopped Etienne. I thought our guys did a tremendous job of not letting him run the football on us," Orgeron said. "We knew Trevor was going to make some plays. They made some plays downfield, but I talked to Coach Aranda, had a tremendous plan to give pressure, but we never panicked, and those three-and-outs and those punts were critical to the ballgame. This guy here Patrick Queen had a great game and we had to tackle in space. Had great athletes in space, and this guy made some great tackles tonight."