|2020 College Football Playoff National Championship|
|6th College Football Playoff National Championship|
|Date||January 13, 2020|
|Location||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|MVP||Offensive: #9 QB Joe Burrow, Sr. LSU|
Defensive: #8 LB Patrick Queen, Jr. LSU
|Favorite||LSU by 5|
|National anthem||Lauren Daigle|
|Referee||Chris Coyte (Pac-12)|
|Halftime show||Clemson University Tiger Band|
Louisiana State University Tiger Marching Band
|United States TV coverage|
|Network||ESPN and ESPN Radio|
|Announcers||ESPN: Chris Fowler (play-by-play)|
Kirk Herbstreit (analyst)
Maria Taylor and Tom Rinaldi (sidelines)
Adam Amin, Dan Orlovsky, Pat McAfee, Steve Levy (Field Pass)
ESPN Radio: Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe and Ian Fitzsimmons
|Nielsen ratings||14.3 (25.59 million viewers)|
|International TV coverage|
Rômulo Mendonça (play-by-play)
Weinny Eirado (analyst)
The 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship was a college football bowl game that determined a national champion in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision for the 2019 season. It was played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Monday, January 13, 2020, with kickoff at 8:00 p.m. EST (7:00 p.m. local CST) on ESPN. Aside from the all-star games that followed, this was the culminating game of the 2019–20 bowl season. The championship featured the top-seeded LSU Tigers from the Southeastern Conference defeating the third seed Clemson Tigers from the Atlantic Coast Conference by a score of 42–25. The win gave LSU their fourth national championship, but their first in the College Football Playoff era. Clemson, for their part, appeared in their fourth overall CFP National Championship game, tying them with Alabama for the most appearances by any team.
Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans was announced as the host site for the sixth College Football Playoff National Championship on November 4, 2015. Playoff seedings and New Year's Six bowl matchups were announced on December 8, 2019.
|December 28 – Peach BowlMercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta|
|4||Oklahoma||28||January 13 – National ChampionshipMercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans|
|December 28 – Fiesta BowlState Farm Stadium, Glendale||3||Clemson||25|
The game matched the LSU Tigers of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the Clemson Tigers of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). With both teams entering the game with 14–0 records, the winning team's 15–0 record equalled that of the 2018 Clemson Tigers, becoming only the second team[a] to finish 15–0 in a single season since the 1897 Penn Quakers.
LSU defeated Georgia in the SEC Championship Game on December 7, and received a bid to the Peach Bowl with the release of final CFP rankings on December 8. The Tigers defeated Oklahoma, 63–28, in the CFP semifinal Peach Bowl on December 28, which was LSU's first CFP semifinal appearance. The Tigers entered the championship game with a 14–0 record (8–0 in conference). LSU's most recent loss was to Texas A&M on November 24, 2018; a seven overtime contest. This was LSU's first appearance in a CFP National Championship game; their most recent national championship game appearance had been a loss to Alabama in the 2012 BCS National Championship Game.
Clemson defeated Virginia in the ACC Championship Game on December 7, and received a bid to the Fiesta Bowl with the release of final CFP rankings on December 8. On December 28, the Tigers defeated Ohio State in the CFP semifinal Fiesta Bowl, 29–23. Clemson also entered the championship game with a 14–0 record (8–0 in conference). The Tigers' most recent loss had been to Alabama in the CFP semifinal Sugar Bowl on January 1, 2018; their 29 consecutive victories following that loss constituted one of the longest NCAA Division I football winning streaks. Including national championship contests, this was Clemson's ninth overall CFP game; they had a 6–2 record in prior CFP games, and were the defending champions, having defeated Alabama in the 2019 CFP National Championship.
|Tee Higgins 2||WR||Justin Jefferson 1|
|Justyn Ross||WR||† Ja'Marr Chase|
|Jackson Carman||LT||Saahdiq Charles 4|
|† John Simpson 4||LG||Adrian Magee|
|Sean Pollard||C||Lloyd Cushenberry III 3|
|Gage Cervenka||RG||Damien Lewis 3|
|Tremayne Anchrum 7||RT||Austin Deculus|
|J.C. Chalk||TE||Thaddeus Moss|
|Amari Rodgers||WR||Terrace Marshall Jr.|
|Trevor Lawrence||QB||† Joe Burrow 1|
|Travis Etienne||RB||Clyde Edwards-Helaire 1|
|Logan Rudolph||DE||Glen Logan|
|Tyler Davis||DT||NT||Tyler Shelvin|
|Nyles Pinkney||DT||DE||Rashard Lawrence 4|
|Xavier Thomas||DE||OLB||Damone Clark|
|† Isaiah Simmons 1||SLB||LB||Jacob Phillips 3|
|James Skalski||MLB||Patrick Queen 1|
|Chad Smith||WLB||OLB||K'Lavon Chaisson 1|
|Derion Kendrick||CB||Kristian Fulton 2|
|A. J. Terrell 1||CB||† Derek Stingley Jr.|
|Tanner Muse 3||FS||S||Jacoby Stevens|
|K'Von Wallace 4||SS||S||† Grant Delpit 2|
|† 2019 All-American|
|Selected in the 2020 NFL Draft|
(number corresponds to draft round)
LSU won the coin toss, and deferred possession to the second half, giving Clemson the opening kickoff. After a promising start to their opening drive, Clemson was forced to punt on 4th-and-23, giving LSU the ball on their own 7-yard-line. LSU's opening drive was far less productive, as they punted after three plays totaling a net loss of four yards. Clemson opened their ensuing drive on the LSU 45. A three-and-out followed, but the Clemson punt coverage team again came up big, downing the ball at the 4-yard-line. While the next LSU drive resulted in positive yards, a punt was the end result, and Clemson took over at their own 33 and scored in five plays, opening the scoring with a Trevor Lawrence rushing touchdown 8:26 into the game. LSU opened their next drive with a touchback, and recorded a first down for the first time, but again punted, giving Clemson the ball at their own 25; Clemson punted right back, and LSU took over at their own 29. On this drive, the LSU offense moved the ball seventy yards in just 4 plays, capped by a long Joe Burrow pass to wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, tying the game at seven with 2:20 remaining in the opening quarter. Clemson had possession for the remainder of the quarter, and made it to the LSU 42 before time expired.
Clemson ran three additional plays in the second quarter before settling for a 52-yard field goal, converted by kicker B.T. Potter, giving them a 10–7 edge. Following LSU's fourth punt of the evening, Clemson started with their worst field position yet, as they got the ball at their own 4. This did not deter the Clemson offense, as they covered the ninety-six yards ahead of them in only four plays, capping the touchdown drive with a long run by Tee Higgins; this extended Clemson's lead to ten. LSU responded with a quick drive of their own, scoring in five plays to narrow the lead to three on a touchdown run by Burrow. Clemson's next drive ended in a punt, and LSU capitalized with another long touchdown drive to take their first lead of the contest, by four, with just over five minutes until halftime on another touchdown pass to Chase. Clemson was unable to respond on offense; they punted and LSU got the ball on their own 5-yard-line. Joe Burrow and the LSU offense continued to build their momentum with their third consecutive touchdown drive of 75-plus yards to increase the lead to 11, 28–17, on a pass to Thaddeus Moss, heading into halftime.
LSU opened the second half by receiving the kickoff; their ensuing drive resulted in a three-and-out, and Clemson took over on the 50-yard-line. For the first time in nearly an entire quarter, the Clemson offense found the end zone, as Travis Etienne capped a 6 play drive with his first touchdown of the day. Trevor Lawrence completed a pass to Amari Rodgers for the two-point conversion, cutting the LSU lead to three points. Joe Burrow's offense was again unable to produce on offense, and the second half (as did the first half) began with two three-and-outs for LSU. Clemson's next drive finished similarly, as a punt followed four plays totaling 14 yards. LSU took over on their own 32. On the fifth play of LSU's ensuing drive, Clemson starting MLB James Skalski was ejected from the game for a targeting penalty; LSU scored on the next play on a touchdown pass from Burrow to Moss (one that gave Burrow sole possession of the FBS record for touchdown passes in a season with 59) to increase their lead to ten. Clemson couldn't produce on their next drive, and punted for the seventh time; LSU got the ball on their own 32. They drove to the Clemson 27 before attempting a 45-yard field goal, which Cade York missed wide right. Lawrence and the Clemson offense were unable to capitalize on the mistake, however; they went three-and-out and punted to the LSU 43. The quarter expired several plays later; LSU entered the fourth quarter leading 35–25.
LSU came out firing in the fourth quarter; they scored for just the second time this half on a Joe Burrow pass to Terrace Marshall Jr., his first receiving touchdown of the contest. For the fourth drive in a row, Clemson punted; the ball was downed at the LSU 10. After taking 5:24 off the clock, LSU punted the ball back, and Clemson took over with just under five minutes left, on their own 15. However, three plays later, Trevor Lawrence fumbled at the end of his rush; it was recovered by LSU's Derek Stingley Jr. with 3:53 to go. LSU was able to run the remaining time off the clock and finish the season as undefeated national champions.
|No. 3 Clemson||7||10||8||0||25|
|No. 1 LSU||7||21||7||7||42|
|Time of possession||25:15||34:45|
|Clemson||Passing||Trevor Lawrence||18/37, 234 yards|
|Rushing||Travis Etienne||15 carries, 78 yards, 1 TD|
|Receiving||Justyn Ross||5 receptions, 76 yards|
|LSU||Passing||Joe Burrow||31/49, 463 yards, 5 TD|
|Rushing||Clyde Edwards-Helaire||16 carries, 110 yards|
|Receiving||Ja'Marr Chase||9 receptions, 221 yards, 2 TD|