Joe Burrow threw for 403 yards and 7 touchdowns on 21-27 passing. In the first half.
I guess the team didn’t really miss Clyde Edwards-Helaire all that much. He did help out by acting as a decoy on LSU’s first touchdown of the game, but for the most part, CEH was able to enjoy this game comfortably from the sideline as LSU kept extending its lead.
Let’s be honest, this game was essentially over at the half. LSU had 497 yards (to Oklahoma’s 160), and went into the locker room up 49-14. And it didn’t even seem like the team was trying all that hard. Sometimes, you’re just better.
The statement was made on the opening drive. K’Lavon Chaisson sacked Jalen Hurts on the opening play, and then Kennedy Brooks lost yardage on the next. Oklahoma punted the ball away having gone backwards. LSU responded with a Justin Jefferson touchdown, the first of four in the first half.
But Oklahoma didn’t simply turn tail and run. CeeDee Lamb made an amazing catch over JaCoby Stevens for 51 yards, setting up a short touchdown run to tie the game. And for a moment, it looked like it would be a game.
Then LSU rattled off four consecutive touchdowns. With 9:17 left in the second quarter, LSU was up by 28 and for all intents and purposes, this game was over.
The biggest question in the second half was how long to leave in the starters. I mean, Tory Carter got a catch in the second half. But this was a semifinal game in which LSU rested its starting quarterback in the fourth quarter to get in work for its backup. That’s insane.
But first, Joe Burrow carried the ball in himself on the opening drive of the second half, and it was time to queue up the Rodgers and Hammerstein…
This team showed up on a mission, and once the mission was done, it was time to pack things up and start worrying about the next one. Oklahoma was just one more obstacle in the way of a national title. This wasn’t about them, though, and there was no need to try run things up on the Sooners.
After a record breaking first half, the second half was one long come down, as both teams worked on running out the clock. LSU, so they could get to celebrate the win, and Oklahoma, so they could just get this game over with.
Let’s also take a moment to appreciate Dave Aranda and the LSU defense. They have taken their share of criticism this season, but they were every bit as instrumental ad the offense in blowing this one open. For LSU to score four consecutive touchdowns, that took the defense to stop the #1 offense in the nation in yards/play.
Outside of CeeDee Lamb, the Oklahoma offense never seemed to pose a serious threat to the LSU defense. Lamb is a great player, and he’s going to get his yards, but the Tigers shut down pretty much everything else. Oklahoma moved the ball late, but by that point, LSU was more than content to allow yards for clock.
The Sooners couldn’t run the ball, they couldn’t pass the ball, and they couldn’t fool the LSU defense with trick plays. Patrick Queen, after running his mouth the loudest this week, backed up his talk with 8 tackles, 1.5 for a loss.
K’Lavon Chaisson recorded a sack on the first play of the game, setting the proper tone. He was also the one who rounded up the defense after slacking off and allowing a second touchdown in the first half. He finished with 2 sacks.
Oklahoma seemed to make the decision to not let Ja’Marr Chase beat them. And he didn’t. Justin Jefferson did instead. He caught 14 balls for 227 yards and 4 touchdowns, all in the first half.
Hey, winning the Peach Bowl is nice, but ultimately, no one gets remembered for winning in the semifinals. There’s still one more mountain climb.
Maybe we have the team to do it. Geaux Tigers.