Down To Two
By: Kenneth Harrison
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
The first round of the College Football Playoff was played this past weekend. Let’s take a look and recap what happened.
No. 1 LSU and No. 4 Oklahoma played the first game, The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Ga.
The Tigers (14-0) demolished OU (12-2), 63 – 28. Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow was spectacular, passing for 493 yards and seven touchdowns. He also ran for a TD.
“We go into every game thinking nobody can stop us,” Burrow said.
LSU scored 49 points in the first half. Justin Jefferson scored all four of his touchdowns in the first half and finished with 14 catches for 227 yards.
Tight end Thaddeus Moss, son of Hall of Famer Randy Moss, had 99 receiving yards and a touchdown.
LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger learned shortly before kickoff that his daughter-in-law, broadcaster Carley McCord, was among five people killed in a plane crash in Louisiana. The small plane went down shortly after takeoff for what was supposed to be a flight to Atlanta for the game.
Head coach Ed Orgeron delivered the news to Ensminger, who was seen with tears running down his cheeks but stuck to the task at hand.
“What a tremendous, tremendous LSU Tiger,” Orgeron said after the game. “He called a great game tonight.” Coach O gave him the game ball.
No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Clemson was a battle of two unbeaten teams. The Playstation Fiesta Bowl was played in Glendale, Arizona. Clemson won a close game, 29 – 23.
I’m not sure how the defending champion Tigers are being overlooked but they feel disrespected by it.
The Buckeyes (13-1) jumped out to a 16-0 lead in the first half. They responded to a Clemson rally to retake the lead 23-21 in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers (14-0) needed four plays and 1:18, with Lawrence completing all three of his passes and mixing in an 11-yard run. The sophomore quarterback, who has never lost a college start, passed for 259 yards and two scores. He also ran for a career-high 107 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown late in the first half.
OSU drove the ball to the Clemson 23-yard line, but Justin Fields was intercepted by Nolan Turner with 37 seconds left.
“Everybody kept saying we didn’t play nobody, that we blow out teams. Tonight showed what we can do,” Clemson receiver Tee Higgins said. “We showed everybody we got fight in us.”
The Buckeyes played well on offense. Fields threw for 320 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. J.K. Dobbins ran for 174 yards and a touchdown.
“I told Ryan, that Ohio State team, what an unbelievable game, their quarterback, their back, those guys played their hearts out,” Swinney said. “But in the end, our guys showed what they’re made of. They’ve got the heart of a champion; they’ve got the eye of a tiger.”
The semifinals played out the way I expected. The best two teams won and they will play the national championship game in New Orleans January 13.
This is basically a home game for LSU but don’t count Clemson out.