LSU & Clemson to Vie for National Championship, MSU Wins Pinstripe Bowl

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Fenton, MI — December 29, 2019

The 2019-20 Bowl games are underway and the College Football Playoff Semi-Finals determined the two teams that will compete for the National Championship January 13th, 2020 in New Orleans.

Michigan State Wins in New York City

The Michigan State Spartans became bowl eligible with a win in their final game of the season. A 19-16 victory over Maryland evened their record at 6-6. With an invitation to the Pinstripe Bowl in New York City at Yankee Stadium, MSU had a chance to finish its 2019 campaign with a winning record.

Facing the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest, the Spartans gave up a touchdown on Wake Forests opening drive and then responded with a field goal. The MSU defense stepped up with the Deacons trying to work their way out of the shadow of their own goal post. A pick-six put Sparty up 10-7 at the end of the first quarter.

A long punt return by Wake Forest put them in scoring range and they took with lead back with a 16-yard TD pass. Michigan State responded quickly with a 64-yard pass from Lewerke to Gillison, followed by an 8-yard Lewerke run for the TD. Wake Forest receiver  Jack Freudenthal broke open for a 44-yard TD grab to put Wake back in the lead. MSU added a field goal before halftime to cut the lead to 21-20 at the break.

The Spartans moved downfield on their first possession of the second half and scored to take the lead at 27-21. The Spartan defense shut down Wake Forest in the second half to keep the Deacons from scoring again. giving MSU the win and a 7-6 season record.

National Semi-Final Number 1, The Peach Bowl, Atlanta, GA

Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta hosted the top-ranked LSU Tigers vs the 4th ranked Oklahoma Sooners. LSU proved why they the number one team in the country by crushing Oklahoma 63-28. The Tigers led 49-14 at halftime before exchanging touchdowns in the 2nd half.

A host of records were tied or broken in the game.

Bowl/SEC Records
Joe Burrow (LSU-QB) set a new FBS record for touchdowns in a bowl game-8 (7-pass, 1-rush)
Burrow tied the FBS record for passing touchdowns in a bowl game-7
Burrow tied LSU and SEC single-game records for passing touchdowns-7
LSU broke the SEC single-game record for touchdowns as a team in a bowl-9

College Football Playoff Records
Burrow was responsible for 8 total touchdowns
Burrow threw 7 touchdowns
Burrow had 403 passing yards in the 1st half
Burrow had 515 total yards
Justin Jefferson (LSU-WR) registered 4 receiving touchdowns
Jefferson had 227 receiving yards
LSU scored 49 points in the 1st half
LSU scored 63 total points in a game
LSU registered 692 yards of total offense
LSU and Oklahoma combined for 91 points, the most in regulation

National Semi-Final Number 2, The Fiesta Bowl, Glendale, AZ

The game between 2nd ranked Ohio State and 3rd ranked Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl presented fans with the type of battle you would expect from the clash of 13-0 conference champions.

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence got up off the turf, after taking a targeting blow to the side of his helmet from Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade, to lead Clemson to their 4th National Championship appearance in the last five years.

Clemson was trailing 16-0 at the time and their 28-game winning streak was on the line. Ohio State had scored four times, but only one touchdown. It would come back to bite them. A Lawrence TD pass and a 67-yard touchdown run by the Tiger’s quarterback brought Clemson back within two points.

Clemson Quarterback Trevor Lawrence / Photo Courtesy of https://clemsontigers.com/

They completed the comeback in the 2nd half and their interception of late Ohio State pass sent the defending National Champions back to the title game.

Michigan Faces Alabama on New Year’s Day

In one of the most anticipated bowl games of the year, the Michigan Wolverines take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Citrus Bowl from Orlando, FL. The matchup features two high-profile coaches in Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh and Alabama’s Nick Saban. Here is CBS Sports preview of the game.

The National Championship Game

LSU and Clemson will matchup for the 2019 College Football National Championship on January 13 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Almost a home game for LSU, the kickoff is set for shortly after 8 pm on ESPN.