CFP Semifinal-LSU vs Oklahoma, Burrow vs Hurts

By: Tony Thomas  December 15, 2019

The college football national semifinal game between the #1 LSU Tigers and the #4 Oklahoma Sooners will showcase the Heisman Trophy winner in Tigers QB Joe Burrow versus the Heisman runner-up in Sooners QB Jalen Hurts.

Both teams are similar as they are both average 554 yards per game. The Tigers are scoring 47 points per game and the Sooners are scoring 43 points per game.

But over the last three games, LSU and Oklahoma couldn’t be any more different.

Offense And Defense On The Same Page

LSU has been ranked in the top five since September 8th and ranked #1 since October 27th. Over the last three games versus Arkansas, Texas A&M, and Georgia, LSU outscored them 143-37. The offensive numbers are impressive in those three games:

  • 1126 passing yards/375 yards per game.
  • 737 rushing yards/245 yards per game.
  •  Scoring average= 47 points per game.
  •  Committed only 1 turnover.

But the Tigers defense, a unit that has been inconsistent at times, has been equally impressive over that same three-game stretch:

  • 512 passing yards allowed/170 yards per game.
  •  247 rushing yards allowed/82 yards per game.
  •  Allowing just 12 points per game.
  •  Forced 5 turnovers.

The Tigers are coming off a 37-10 win over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, LSU’s first conference title since 2011. Burrow completed 28 of 38 passes for 349 yards and 4 touchdowns, with no interceptions.

Coming into that game, the Georgia defense was ranked in the top five: #4 in total defense (257 yards per game), #2 in rushing defense (71 yards per game), and scoring defense (10 points per game). LSU totaled 132 yards rushing and 481 yards for the game.

Now, the Tigers are executing consistently on both sides of the ball. And it couldn’t have happened at a better time.

Sooners appear to be Struggling

It’s a different story for the fourth-ranked Sooners. Led by Hurts, the 2019 Heisman runner-up, Oklahoma has been ranked in the top ten all season.

But over their last three games, they haven’t exactly set the world on fire from a production standpoint. Against TCU, Oklahoma State, and Baylor, the Sooners have produced these offensive numbers:

  • 599 yards passing= 199 yards per game.
  • 795 yards rushing= 265 yards per game.
  •  Scoring 30 points per game.
  •  Committed 5 turnovers.

And on the defensive side of the ball, Oklahoma has struggled a bit:

  • 302 rushing yards allowed/100 yards per game.
  •  502 passing yards allowed/167 yards per game.
  •  Scoring 21 points per game.
  •  Forced 3 turnovers

In the Big 12 Championship Game versus Baylor, the Sooners were held scoreless in the 2nd quarter and were down 13-10 at halftime. After Baylor lost their first and second string quarterbacks, Oklahoma outscored Baylor in the second half to tie the game and forced an overtime period. After Baylor failed to score on their possession in OT, the Sooners scored on a 5-yard run to secure a 30-23 victory and win their fifth consecutive Big 12 title.

The CFP semifinal. LSU vs. Oklahoma. Burrow vs. Hurts. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Thanks for reading.

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