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The Championship Chase

By Matthew Golden
SouthernPigskin.com
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Chase finishes his sophomore campaign with 84 catches, 1,780 receiving yards, 20 receiving touchdowns, and several shattered records in his rear view.

The 2019 College Football season is now laid to rest, with Heisman winner Joe Burrow and the LSU Tiger’s claiming the school’s fourth national championship.

The blockbuster matchup featured a red-hot start from Clemson, who led by double digits early into the second quarter. As Clemson struggled to convert on third downs and sustain long drives, the LSU offense kicked into gear and scored three touchdowns’ in the final nine minutes of the first half.

Ja'marr Chase, the 2019 Biletnikoff Award winner, dominated the Clemson secondary, continuing to cement himself as one of college football’s elite receivers. The sophomore wideout became just the eighth player since the turn of the century to have at least nine receptions, 220 receiving yards, and two receiving touchdowns in a championship or major bowl game.

Heading into Monday night’s championship game, LSU’s talented group of receivers and the respected Clemson secondary was looked at as maybe the most intriguing positional battle matchup. Following the final college football game of the season, it’s clear the advantage belonged to Ja'marr Chase and the talented arsenal of offensive weapons at Joe Burrow’s disposal.

With LSU facing an early 7-0 deficit, Chase reeled in a 52-yard bomb from Burrow, beating defensive back AJ Terrel, tying the game and answering Clemson with some blown kisses of his own.

The game took its largest turn with 5:19 to go in the second quarter, when Chase snagged his second touchdown reception on a 19- yard strike from the Heisman winner. AJ Terrell again was lined up opposite of Chase, being beat outside and allowing an easy score. Going up 21-17, LSU would not trail for the remainder of the game.

As insane it sounds, Ja'Marr Chase would go into halftime with 162 of his 221 total receiving yards on the night.

The 19-year-old (yes, the 19 years old) Harvey, Louisiana native now holds the College Football Playoff game receiving record, formerly held by Alabama’s OJ Howard, who had a 202-yard performance against Clemson in 2016.

While we’re on the subject of records, Chase now stands alone in the SEC, breaking the conference’s single season receiving touchdown record. The 52-yard masterpiece in the first quarter moved him out of a three-way tie, passing teammate Justin Jefferson and bringing him to 19. Chase’s second quarter snag would set the record at 20 moving forward.

Chase finishes his sophomore campaign with 84 catches, 1,780 receiving yards, 20 receiving touchdowns, and several shattered records in his rear view. The First Team All American is now the most decorated receiver in school history, still having a whole season to play before moving onto the next level.

With the obvious departure of Joe Burrow, it’ll be intriguing to see how Chase continues to develop, and the load he carries on offense next season.

While just about every NFL team would take a Ja'marr Chase on their roster, the receiver isn’t eligible to declare until the 2021 Draft. Chase will remain a hot commodity and has the chance to be the first receiver taken off the board in next year's draft.

For now, he’ll enjoy being a National Champion.