It was a rough Monday night for Clemson football fans as they watched their Tigers fall short in New Orleans against the LSU Tigers.
The Clemson football program won 29-straight games and two of the last three National Championships coming into the game Monday night, but it was LSU that walked out of the Superdome victorious.
Though Clemson came out strong, stopping that prolific LSU offense on the first couple of drives, the Tigers began to wear out defensively as the game progressed and Joe Burrow ended his magical season with yet another impressive performance that resulted in a 42-25 victory.
The offense was unable to take advantage of some good field position early and it completely sputtered out as the game progressed. Trevor Lawrence was off-target on many of his throws and the Tiger coaching staff got away from the running game with Travis Etienne, which had proven to be effective.
Here’s a look at the stat leaders for Clemson and analysis from the game.
Passing: Trevor Lawrence 18-of-37 for 234 yards, 0 TDs.
Rushing: Travis Etienne 15 carries, 78 yards, 1 TD.
Receiving: Justyn Ross 5 catches, 76 yards; Braden Galloway 2 catches, 60 yards.
LSU’s Burrow had 449 yards passing and five touchdowns to no interceptions. The SEC Tigers had 628 yards of total offense, compared to Clemson’s 394 yards. Clemson finished the night just 1-of-11 on third downs. LSU, on the other hand, was 4-for-13.
The thing is this: Clemson had its chances and just couldn’t convert.
Clemson had an opportunity early with field position in its favor, but couldn’t score despite being in LSU territory twice. The Tigers took a 10-point lead in the second quarter, but the big-plays from QB Joe Burrow to WR Ja’Maar Chase were just too much and it created a spark for that LSU offense.
Offensively, the Tigers were just 1-of-10 on third down attempts through the first three quarters of the game. No matter who you are playing, you’re not going to win with a stat like that.
On the other side of the ball, Clemson wasn’t able to get off the field when it needed to. The Tigers allowed LSU to convert on several 3rd-and-longs in critical situations that could’ve proven to be momentum-shifters.
Overall, this is just one of those nights. It was the perfect storm for LSU and things couldn’t have gotten much worse for Clemson. Trevor Lawrence played one of the worst games of his career, the defense couldn’t come up with anything when it needed to, and that led to a deflating loss.
That being said, it should be fully expected that Clemson is right back with an opportunity to compete for another National Championship next season. The Tigers’ program winning streak stopped at 29 and Lawrence lost the first game of his career, but there’s still plenty of reason for optimism as we head into 2020.
Clemson football fans will need to lick their wounds for a couple of days, but there certainly should be a time where Tiger fans step back, reflect on how impressive winning 29-straight truly was, and be appreciative for the fact that their team will be right back in the thick of things next season.