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Jan 13, 2020

LSU Tops Clemson in CFP National Championship Game

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NEW ORLEANS β€” No. 3 Clemson lost its first game in more than two years, falling to No. 1 LSU 42-25 in the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Monday night. Clemson’s seniors closed their careers with a 55-4 record, suffering their first loss since dropping the 2018 Sugar Bowl in the same stadium at the end of the 2017 season. Clemson closed the year with a 14-1 record, while LSU joined Clemson (2018) as the only FBS programs in the modern era to finish 15-0.

The loss snapped Clemson’s 29-game winning streak. The 29 consecutive wins tied for the 12th-longest winning streak in college football history and was the longest since Florida State won 29 straight between 2012-14. It was the Tigers’ first loss in 742 days as well.

Travis Etienne finished with 78 yards on the ground, while he added five receptions for 36 yards. Etienne became Clemson’s all-time leading rusher, passing Raymond Priester’s former mark of 3,966 career rushing yards. Justyn Ross was Clemson’s leading receiver with five receptions for 76 yards..

Clemson struck first on Trevor Lawrence’s rushing touchdown. After an LSU scoring strike, B.T. Potter put Clemson back on top with a career-long 52-yard field goal, which marked the longest field goal in CFP National Championship Game history.

After a stop, Tee Higgins took his first career carry, a reverse, 36 yards across the field and dove in for a score with 10:38 to play in the second quarter. On that drive, Clemson went 96 yards in just four plays in taking a 17-7 lead. From there, LSU closed the first half by scoring three touchdowns in the final 9:17, including a 95-yard drive that gave it a 28-17 lead at halftime.

Clemson made a statement out of halftime, sacking Burrow on third down to end LSU’s first drive, and going 50 yards in six plays, punctuated with an Etienne rushing score and an Amari Rodgers two-point conversion. However, LSU scored two unanswered touchdowns to take a 42-25 lead with 12:08 to play in the contest, a lead it held for the remainder of the game.

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