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End of the Brylcreem Boys: LSU's new Greatest Generation takes over as Burrow bumps Cannon

The Daily Advertiser (Lafayette) logo The Daily Advertiser (Lafayette) 4 days ago Glenn Guilbeau, Lafayette Daily Advertiser
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NEW ORLEANS — LSU's perfect, 11-0 national championship team of 1958 with iconic tailback Billy Cannon had a great run — on Halloween Night, 1959, and over the last 60 years.

They were LSU's Greatest Generation with Cannon winning the school's only Heisman Trophy in' 59 ... until this season.

They were LSU's only undefeated national champion ... until this season.

So, make room for the new 1958.

The 2019-20 Tigers just finished the greatest football season in school history at 15-0 with a 42-25 demolition of defending national champion and 29-0 Clemson in the national championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with quarterback Joe Burrow bumping Cannon as the quintessential LSU icon in the process. And LSU's 2019-20 run could represent the greatest season by a team in college football history, considering the way it won and the records it set. Time will reveal.

a group of people sitting around a baseball field: Billy Cannon and Max Fugler © Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Billy Cannon and Max Fugler

It was a great six decades, but this is the end of the "Brylcreem Boys."

For perhaps the next 60 years, LSU's Forever Team will be the "Burrow and the Boys."

All Joe Burrow, aka Jeaux Burreaux, did Monday night was become the NCAA's all-time leading touchdown passer in a season with 60, breaking the mark of 58 set by Hawaii's Colt Brennan in 2006. Burrow threw five touchdown passes and ran for another.

More: LSU finishes its best season ever with 42-25 win over Clemson for national title

He completed 31 of 49 passes in all for 463 yards, but what he really did was become the next Billy Cannon, who passed away on May 20, 2018, at age 80, just a week after Burrow visited LSU about transferring from Ohio State.

Paul Dietzel wearing a suit and tie: LSU coach Paul Dietzel, right, shown here embracing Mickey Mangham in the locker room after they to defeated Clemson 7-0 in the Sugar Bowl, has been honored into the FCA Hall of Champions. © Associated Press LSU coach Paul Dietzel, right, shown here embracing Mickey Mangham in the locker room after they to defeated Clemson 7-0 in the Sugar Bowl, has been honored into the FCA Hall of Champions. In a way, the torch was passed. Key word - passed, something Cannon always thought his coach, Paul Dietzel, should have done more of.

Burrow and the Boys gave LSU its greatest pass offense in history, and what's legendary about that is just how bad LSU was at the forward pass in recent years. The Tigers finished with 726 total points — three more than previous NCAA record holder Florida State with 723 in 2013 in 14 games.

"I know this national championship will be remembered for a long time," Burrow said after the game while smoking a victory cigar. This won't be his first rodeo, and that was not his first cigar.

He held it like he could be on the cover of the next "Cigar Aficionado Magazine," particularly how he pointed with it and nodded in the press room.

"And the fact that it happened in New Orleans makes it that much more special," said Burrow, who will be able to afford a spring duplex here soon. 

More: See LSU quarterback Joe Burrow taunt Clemson by pointing at ring finger

As Burrow exited stage left and LSU forever, Ed Orgeron coached him one last time.

"Take it easy on that cigar, boy," he said.

"I think it was a magical season, I really do," Orgeron said.

LSU worked some magic on this night. After disappearing early in the game, it suddenly reappeared.

The Tigers managed all of 90 yards in the first quarter amid terrible field position. LSU could not get past its own 12-yard line on its first two possessions as Burrow looked for a light. This was hauntingly familiar to the Tigers' 21-0 loss to Alabama in its last national championship appearance in which LSU did not pass the 50 until late in the game.

Clemson took a 17-7 lead early in the second quarter, and things were looking nervous. That was LSU's largest deficit since the Texas A&M game in 2018.

But suddenly everything looked Big and Easy again as Burrow directed three straight touchdown drives to end the second quarter, and just like that the Tigers were up, 28-17, and smoking.

Clemson cut that to 28-25, but in truth it never recovered and was soon done after back-to-back touchdown drives by Burrow and the Boys.

"You can't hold us down forever. We're too explosive," Burrow said. "Once we figured it out, we started rolling."

Wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase caught nine passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns as Clemson tried to cover him with one cornerback.

"They really are playing man-to-man with Ja'Marr," Burrow said he told pass game coordinator Joe Brady and offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger as if he still did not believe it.

LSU ended up dominating Clemson with 628 yards to 394. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence was smoked by Burrow in their first meeting with many more coming in the NFL. Lawrence completed just 18 of 37 passes for 234 yards with a big zero in the touchdown category. That has not happened since his freshman year in 2018, and he was injured in that game. He also overthrew receivers about a dozen times.

"Tonight was all about LSU," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. "We just couldn't quite put enough plays together. Probably the worst we've been on third down (1 of 11) in a long time."

LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda clearly saved his best for last as Burrow put the finishing touches on his Monet season.

"LSU played a beautiful game," Swinney said.

It was almost too good to be true, but it will always be true at least until 2080.

"This was what I wanted do since the time I was 5 years old," Burrow said. "No one can ever take this away."

This article originally appeared on Lafayette Daily Advertiser: End of the Brylcreem Boys: LSU's new Greatest Generation takes over as Burrow bumps Cannon

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