NEW ORLEANS — 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 the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Clemson’s seniors closed their careers at 55-4, suffering their first loss since dropping the 2017 Sugar Bowl in the same stadium. Clemson closes the year at 14-1, while LSU joined Clemson (2018) as the only two programs in the modern era to finish 15-0.
The loss snaps Clemson’s 29-game winning streak. The 29 consecutive wins is tied for 12th longest win streak in College Football history, and is the longest since Florida State won 29 straight between 2012-14. It is the Tigers first loss in 742 days.
Trevor Lawrence completed 18-37 passes and rushed for a one yard touchdown in the first quarter. Travis Etienne finished with 78 yards on the ground, while catching five passes for 36 yards. Justyn Ross was the Tigers’ leading receiver, catching five passes for 76 yards.
In the contest, running back Travis Etienne became Clemson’s all-time leading rusher, passing Raymond Priester’s former mark of 3,966 yards. Just a play later, Clemson struck first, with Lawrence finding the endzone on the ground, capping a 5-play, 67-yard drive that took just over two minutes. After an LSU scoring strike, kicker B.T. Potter put Clemson back on top with a career-long 52-yarder, which also marked the longest made field goal in CFP Championship Game history.
After a stop, Tee Higgins took his first career rushing attempt, a reverse from Etienne, 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 on just four plays in taking the 17-7 lead. From there, LSU closed the first half scoring three touchdowns in the final 9:17, including a 95-yard drive that gave them a 28-17 lead heading to the half.
Clemson made a statement out of halftime, sacking Burrow on third down to end their first drive, and going 50 yards on six plays punctuated with an Etienne rushing score and an Amari Rodgers two-point conversion to climb back in it. However, LSU scored a pair of unanswered touchdowns to take a 42-25 lead with 12:08 to play in the contest, a lead they would hold for the remainder of the game