ATLANTA — A year after digging themselves a 31-10 hole in the first half of the 2018 Orange Bowl against Alabama, the No. 4 Sooners dug themselves a bigger, inescapable one in the Peach Bowl Saturday evening.
Oklahoma fell to No. 1 LSU, 63-28, hitting a season-ending — and championship-denying — roadblock in its third consecutive College Football Playoff, after going into halftime down a crippling 49-14.
It was ugly for the Sooners. LSU’s Joe Burrow threw for seven touchdowns, all of those coming in the first half, while 403 of his 493 passing yards also came in the first half. LSU receiver Justin Jefferson, the team’s second-best receiver after Biletnikoff winner Ja’Marr Chase, racked up four touchdowns and 186 receiving yards in the first half before ending the night with 227 yards.
With an OU defense already short-handed, as safety Delarrin Turner-Yell had broken his collarbone and the Sooners’ best pass rusher Ronnie Perkins had been suspended for the game, the Sooners lost their starting nickelback, sophomore Brendan “Bookie” Radley-Hiles, when he was ejected in the second quarter after receiving a targeting call. After his departure, the Tigers went on a 28-7 run.
Senior quarterback Jalen Hurts, in his last college football game, put up 43 rushing yards — his lowest amount this season — and two rushing touchdowns on 12 attempts, while also throwing for 217 yards. He was 15-of-31 against an LSU defense that held the Sooners to just 322 total yards. Junior wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, who is projected as an NFL Draft first-round pick, might have played his last college game as well. He caught for 119 yards on four receptions, one being a 51-yard catch in the first quarter.
The Tigers will wait for the outcome of No. 2 Ohio State against No. 3 Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl later Saturday to find out who they will play in the national championship on Monday, Jan. 13 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
First quarter (12:03): Oklahoma 0, LSU 7: LSU scores on a 19-yard touchdown pass.
First quarter (7:34): Oklahoma 7, LSU 7: Kennedy Brooks scores on a 3-yard touchdown run.
First quarter (4:24): Oklahoma 7, LSU 14: LSU scores on a 7-yard touchdown pass.
First quarter (1:16): Oklahoma 7, LSU 21: LSU scores on a 35-yard touchdown pass.
Second quarter (12:13): Oklahoma 7, LSU 28: LSU scores on a 42-yard touchdown pass.
Second quarter (9:17): Oklahoma 7, LSU 35: LSU scores on a 30-yard touchdown pass.
Second quarter (4:45): Oklahoma 14, LSU 35: Jalen Hurts scores on a 2-yard touchdown run.
Second quarter (4:18): Oklahoma 14, LSU 42: LSU scores on a 62-yard touchdown pass.
Second quarter (0:50): Oklahoma 14, LSU 49: LSU scores on a 2-yard pass.
Third quarter (10:11): Oklahoma 14, LSU 56: LSU scores on a 3-yard run.
Third quarter (4:19): Oklahoma 21, LSU 56: Jalen Hurts scores on a 12-yard touchdown run.
Fourth quarter (9:39): Oklahoma 28, LSU 56: T.J. Pledger scores on a 1-yard touchdown run.
Fourth quarter (3:59): Oklahoma 28, LSU 63: LSU scores on a 6-yard rushing touchdown.