Barely 24 hours after meeting his childhood idol, Joe Burrow marched off the field at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome much like Drew Brees has done many times himself: Surrounded by friends and fans, but standing alone.
LSU's quarterback finished off the Tigers' first national championship since 2007 with a performance that saw him take down a pair of vaunted FBS records.
Burrow's five passing touchdowns in LSU's 42-25 win over Clemson brought him to an even 60 on the season, breaking the FBS record held at 58 by former Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan since 2006. He added a rushing touchdown to bring his total touchdowns responsible for to 65 on the season, toppling that FBS record -- also Brennan's -- that had stood at 63.
"This was a long time coming," Burrow said after the win, smiling. "I'm kind of speechless right now. This was fun."
Burrow took down both marks on a single pass to Thaddeus Moss in the third quarter. That 4-yard touchdown that marked Burrow's 59th of the season came midway through the third quarter and extended LSU's lead to 10. Clemson wouldn't get any closer on what coach Ed Orgeron called a "magical" night in the Superdome for his players, especially those with New Orleans ties.
"I think when we saw the National Championship would be in the Superdome at the beginning of the year we set our target on that, although we did not talk about it," LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. "We felt once we come in the Superdome we'd come out victorious because of the home-field advantage."
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One of those players was Ja'Marr Chase, who caught the first two of Burrow's touchdown passes just two years removed from starring at Archbishop Rummel in Metairie.
Chase's 52-yard score in the first quarter broke a three-way tie with teammate Justin Jefferson and former Florida receiver Anthony Reidel to set a new SEC single-season record for receiving touchdowns at 19, and his 14-yarder in the second quarter extended that record to an even 20.
It took a trip to New Orleans to make it official, but Ja'Marr Chase now stands alone in Southeastern Conference history.
But the night at the Dome belonged Burrow in the end. He logged his fifth rushing touchdown in the season from 3 yards out in the second quarter, then hit a 6-yard touchdown to a wide open Moss with 10 seconds until halftime. That score tied both of Brennan's marks and also sent LSU into the locker room up 28-17 and with 21 consecutive points after they'd gone down 17-7 earlier in the quarter.
Burrow's fifth and final touchdown pass came on a 24-yard heave to Terrace Marshall in the fourth quarter.
And after Burrow finished off a season that will go down in the history books, Orgeron likened his quarterback to the Saints' signal-caller who became the NFL's career leader in touchdown passes on the same field just a few weeks earlier.
"[Brees] and Joe are a lot alike in a lot of ways," Orgeron said, "as far as their work ethic, as far as their leadership on the football team."
Brennan does have one caveat to claim over Burrow in the record books, though, having compiled his total in 14 games. Burrow, by virtue of playing in the College Football Playoff Championship game, accrued his total in 15 games.
Before each game Joe Burrow does the same thing to get focused. Sometimes it means he even loses consciousness.
There were two records that slipped away from Burrow, finishing the season .5% percent behind Colt McCoy's NCAA record for completion percentage in a season and 65 yards below Rohan Davey's LSU record for yards in a single game.
But even with the season behind him and a pro career in front, Burrow said he wasn't ready to look in the mirror and reflect quite yet.
"Not yet," he said, fresh off a victory cigar he joked to his coach was just the first of many. "We're still celebrating."
When Joe Burrow and Drew Brees finally made their introductions, it was a meeting of the minds and a meeting of the "9s."
Much like his childhood idol Drew Brees, Joe Burrow is headed to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with a chance to beat some Colts and break some m…
LSU has been rewriting the record books all season faster than the ink can dry -- and that was especially true in a Peach Bowl rout of Oklahoma.