Joe Burrow and the 2019 LSU Tigers: A Record Season
A look back at the undefeated LSU Tigers, Joe Burrow and that prolific offense
The 2019 LSU Tigers went undefeated (15–0) with a prolific offense enroute to winning the CFP national championship.
There was Nothing “Average” About this Joe
The Tigers were led on the field by QB Joe Burrow, who had transferred in from Ohio State a year earlier and won the starting job for head coach Ed Orgeron’s Tigers.
Burrow established his leadership ability early on in 2019 in Spring practice, summer workouts, and in Fall camp. No one could imagine the juggernaut that would run out of the tunnel in Death Valley in week 1 against Georgia Southern.
Burrow led an LSU offense that averaged 48 points per game (#1 in the FBS) and 568 yards of total offense per game (also #1 in the FBS).
He passed for 5671 yards, 60 TDs, and 6 INTs (in 527 attempts). These numbers rank as the #2 single-season performance in college football history, behind only Barry Sanders’ 1988 season (according to the sportingnews.com).
Burrow completed 76% of his passes and the offense averaged 7.89 yards per play.
He led the FBS in completion percentage, passing yards, passing TDs, and
In fact, Burrow completed 70% or better of his passes in every game except one-the national championship game vs Clemson in which he completed 63% of his passes to go along with 463 yards, 5 TDs, and 0 INTs in a 42–25 win.
The LSU passing offense ranked #2 in the country at 401 yards per game. Burrow ranked #2 in the FBS as he averaged 378 yards per game.
He passed for 6 touchdowns in one game, and 7 TDs in another. Burrow threw for 5 TDs in a game four times and four TDs in a game three times.
Over his final five games, he threw 22 TD passes and zero INTs.
LSU Played Seven Top 10 Teams, and Beat Them All
The Tigers beat seven teams that were ranked in the Top Ten and racked up some big yardage in each victory: at #9 Texas (45–38 win; 573 total yards), vs #7 Florida (42–28 win; 511 total yards), vs #9 Auburn (23–20 win; 508 total yards), at #2 Alabama (46–41 win; 559 total yards).
Against #4 Georgia in the SEC Championship Game (37–10 win; 481 total yards), and vs #4 Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl national semifinal game (63–28 win; 693 total yards).
In the CFP national championship game vs #3 Clemson, LSU racked up 631 total yards in a 42–25 win.
Breaking an 8-game Losing Streak to Alabama
The Tigers had lost 8 straight to the Crimson Tide as the purple and gold well-oiled machine rolled into Tuscaloosa. LSU jumped to a 33–13 at halftime but were outscored 28–13 in the second half.
Both teams combined for 51 first downs and 1100 total yards of offense. The Tigers did lead the entire game and held on for the win.
Burrow passed for 393 yards and 3 TDs against the Crimson Tide, completing 79% of his passes. RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for 103 yards and scored 4 total touchdowns. WR Ja”Marr Chase caught six of Burrow’s passes for 140 yards and a touchdown. The LSU defense recorded a sack, and INT, and seven tackles for loss in the long overdue victory.
Burrow’s Assault on the Record Books
Burrow set numerous records during that 2019 season:
- Went 25–3 as a starter, posting a .893 winning percentage.
- Accounted for 8 touchdowns in the 63–28 Peach Bowl win over Oklahoma.
- Threw 60 TD passes (breaking the previous record of 58 held by Colt Brennan of Hawaii).
- 463 yards passing in the CFP national championship game win over Clemson.
- 521 yards of total offense in the CFP title game.
- 5671 passing yards in a single season (tied for 3rd most in college football history).
Honors, Accolades, and Hardware
Burrow was named AP Player of the Year, Consensus All-American, and he won the Heisman Trophy, among the many awards and accolades bestowed upon him that season.
He was later chosen with the 1st overall pick by the Cincinatti Bengals in the 2020 NFL Draft and led the Bengals to a Super Bowl berth this past February.
Joe Burrow and the 2019 LSU Tigers-arguably the best college football team of the modern era.
Thanks for reading.
Material for this article was sourced from cfbstats.com, heisman.com, story “Nine Absurd Records Joe Burrow Set in LSU’s College Football Playoff Championship Season,” by Bill Bender, sportingnews.com, January 14, 2020, “CFB 150: Top 10 Individual Single-Season Performances in College Football History,” by Vinnie Iyer, sportingnews.com, January 14, 2020.
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