Tough to come so close to making history, but the Tigers just didn't have their A game, especially in the second half, and Lsu was one hell of a team. There were a few swing plays that could have made the difference, like the offensive PI call on Tee Higgins that negated a TD to make it a 10-point game with 11 minutes left. Then there was the ejection of Skalski in the first half. They certainly missed him, and that was a questionable call. But who knows if either of those would have made the difference. Lsu just caught lightning in a bottle this season with a quarterback that played better than Tom Brady, and he was magnificent tonight.
So the Tigers won't break Oklahoma's 47-game win streak or win 3 national titles in 4 years, but on the bright side, they have a great team coming back. Maybe an even better team, as Dabo said the other day. They had 80 freshmen and sophomores this year and just 40 juniors and seniors. Not to mention some instant-impact freshmen coming in like Bryan Bresee, Myles Murphy and Demarkcus Bowman.
Incredible season and run by the Tigers, and the best is yet to come! I'll have post-game interviews posted in a bit.
The game concluded Clemson's school-record winning streak at 29 games. The streak concludes tied for the longest in ACC history and tied with 2012-14 Florida State, 1990-93 Miami (Fla.) and 1901-03 Michigan for the 12th-longest in FBS history.
The 29-contest winning streak concludes as the longest in Clemson Athletics history in any sport.
The Clemson seniors conclude their careers 55-4 over the last four seasons, tied with the 2018 Clemson and Alabama seniors for the most wins in a four-year career in FBS history.
Clemson concluded the 2010s with a record of 117-23 (.836) in seasons in the decade. Clemson’s mark in the 2010s represents only the fourth time a program has won 117 games in a decade in major college football since 1890, joining Penn (124 in the 1890s), Alabama (124 in the 2010s) and Ohio State (117 in the 2010s).
Clemson's 14 wins on the year finish tied for the second-most in school history with the 2015 and 2016 squads.
Clemson dropped to 6-3 all-time in College Football Playoff games. Clemson’s six all-time wins in the playoff remain tied Alabama (six) for the most in CFP history. No school other than Clemson and Alabama has more than two.
Running back Travis Etienne rushed 15 times for 78 yards with a touchdown.
On a five-yard carry in the first quarter, Etienne(4,038) broke Raymond Priester’s Clemson record for career rushing yards (3,966). The record-breaking run set up a one-yard touchdown run by Trevor Lawrence on the following play.
With 78 yards in the game, Etienne (4,038) became the first 4,000-yard career rusher in Clemson history. He joined NC State's Ted Brown, Florida State's Dalvin Cook, North Carolina's Amos Lawrence, Maryland's LaMont Jordan, Louisville's Lamar Jackson, Georgia Tech's Robert Lavette, Wake Forest's Chris Barclay and Boston College's AJ Dillon to become only the ninth 4,000-yard rusher in ACC history.
With 144 all-purpose yards in the game, Etienne(5,122) joined C.J. Spiller and Sammy Watkins as the only players in school history to produce 5,000 career all-purpose yards.
On a three-yard touchdown run in the third quarter,Etienne rushed for a touchdown in a ninth straight game to tie the school record shared by Lester Brown (1978), Terry Allen (1988-89) and James Davis (2005-06).
The result moved quarterback Trevor Lawrence to 25-1 all-time as a starter, concluding a streak of 25 consecutive victories to open his career as a starting quarterback, one shy of the record held by Florida State's Jameis Winston (26 from 2013-14).
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Lawrence's 25-game winning streak finished tied for the sixth-longest winning streak by a starting quarterback at any point of a career, trailing streaks by Toledo's Chuck Ealey (35 from 1969-71), USC's Matt Leinart (34 from 2003-05), Miami's Ken Dorsey (34 from 2000-02), Oklahoma's Steve Davis (28 from 1973-75) and Winston (26 from 2013-14) while tying Florida State's Chris Weinke (25 from 1998-2000).
Lawrence won 14 games as the starter in 2019, tying Deshaun Watson’s single-season Clemson record among starting quarterbacks set in 2015 and 2016.
Lawrence opened the scoring on a one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Clemson entered the contest having won its 50 previous games when scoring first since 2015.
The rushing touchdown was Lawrence’s ninth of the season and the 10th of his career.
The rushing touchdown was the 45th touchdown Lawrence was responsible for this season, moving into a tie with Lamar Jackson (45 in 2017) for the fifth-most in a season in ACC history.
Lawrence (4,228) combined for 283 rushing and passing yards to post the sixth 4,000-yard season of total offense in school history. He is only the third Clemson quarterback to do so, joining Deshaun Watson (twice, 2015-16) and Tajh Boyd (three times, 2011-13).
With 234 yards in the game, Lawrence (3,665) posted only the seventh 3,500-yard passing season in school history.
Lawrence extended his streak of consecutive pass attempts without an interception to 239, already Clemson's single-season and multi-season record. It is now for the fifth-longest streak in ACC history.
Wide receiver Tee Higgins scored on a 36-yard touchdown run on his first career rushing attempt.
With Higgins’s rushing touchdown, Clemson rushed for multiple touchdowns in a 16th consecutive game for the first time in school history. The active 16-game streak surpassed a 15-game streak across the 2016-17 seasons for the longest in school annals.
Higgins’ touchdown was the culmination of a four-play, 96-yard drive. It was Clemson’s second longest drive of the 2019 bowl season, behind a 99-yard drive against Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.
Tight end Braden Galloway recorded his first reception of the season in the first quarter, gaining a career-long 42 yards on the catch.
On two receptions, Galloway recorded 60 receiving yards, the most in a game by a Clemson tight end this season. It also more than doubled his career total, as he entered the contest with five career catches for 52 yards.
Defensive end Justin Foster recorded Clemson’s first sack of the game, pushing his season sack total to 4.5.
Defensive tackle Tyler Davis added Clemson’s second sack, giving him 5.5 on his true freshman campaign.
Linebacker Isaiah Simmons recorded his eighth sack of the season in the third quarter, pushing him to double digits for his career (10.5).
Kicker B.T. Potter recorded a career-long 52-yard field goal in the second quarter, breaking his career long of 51 yards set against both Georgia Tech and Louisville earlier this season.
The field goal was Potter’s third field goal of 50 yards or more this season, tying him with Richard Jackson's school record for 50-yard field goals in a single season from 2009.
The 52-yard field goal by Potter tied for the 10th-longest in Clemson history. It was the longest in Clemson bowl history, surpassing 49-yard field goals by Obed Ariri (1977 Gator Bowl vs. Pittsburgh) and Ammon Lakip (2014 Russell Athletic Bowl vs. Oklahoma).
The 52-yarder by Potter was the longest made field goal in College Football Playoff National Championship Game history, surpassing a 51-yarder by Georgia’s Rodrigo Blankenship against Alabama in the game to conclude the 2017 season.
Punter Will Spiers punted a career-high nine times with five punts downed inside the 20 and two of 50-plus yards. In two College Football Playoff games this postseason, Spiers dropped 10 of his 16 punts inside the 20.
Clemson lost the turnover margin, 1-0, losing a fumble on a late drive. It snapped a streak of nine consecutive games winning the turnover margin, tied with 2017 Miami for the longest streak in the ACC over the last 15 seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Clemson finished the year having won the turnover margin 11 times, the most under Head Coach Dabo Swinney.
Clemson plus-15 margin in turnovers in 2019 tied with the 1989 team for the ninth-best mark in school history and was the program’s best under Head Coach Dabo Swinney.
Clemson finished the season having turned the ball over only twice in its final eight games. Clemson had six games with zero giveaways in 2019, a school record, surpassing the five turnover-free games in 1988, 1994, 2007 and 2018.
Clemson finished the year with 15 giveaways on the season, tied for the eighth-fewest in school history. Clemson's 1.00 giveaways-per-game average is the third-lowest in school history behind the 1940 (0.88) and 2007 (0.92) teams.
With 394 yards in the game, Clemson (7,931) surpassed the 2018 team (7,908) for the most yards in a season in school and ACC history.
Clemson (3,606) rushed for 160 yards to pass the 1978 team (3,469) for the second-most in a season in program history.
The game was a matchup of two undefeated teams for the fourth time in College Football Playoff history. Clemson has been involved in all four previous matchups, including games last year in which 13-0 Clemson faced 12-0 Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl and 14-0 Clemson faced 14-0 Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship, as well as 13-0 Clemson's win against 13-0 Ohio State in this year's Fiesta Bowl.
The contest represented the latest game in a season in school history. Previously, the latest Clemson had played in school history was on Jan. 11, 2016, in the College Football Playoff to conclude the 2015 season. Clemson also played the earliest game in school history this year, opening the season against Georgia Tech on Aug. 29, and the 137 elapsed days from the season opener to the season finale represented the longest season in Clemson history.
Offensive lineman Tremayne Anchrum, offensive lineman Gage Cervenka, safety Tanner Muse, wide receiver Diondre Overton, offensive lineman John Simpson, linebacker Isaiah Simmons and safety K’Von Wallace represented Clemson as the team’s postseason captains.
Wallace and Muse each appeared in their 59th career game to tie defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and tight end Cannon Smith (59 each from 2015-18) for most career games in school history.