On a first-and-10 from his team’s 23-yard line, Joe Burrow, LSU quarterback and the current Heisman favorite, broke conventional football wisdom and took what might be the wisest sack of his career. Under normal circumstances, if a defender that’s trying to bring a player down is only hanging on by one article of clothing, that player is encouraged to keep their feet moving in the hopes of breaking the tackle attempt. However, if Burrow had decided to follow that advice in this situation, he would have likely found himself half-naked in front of a hostile Mississippi State crowd.
Perhaps Bulldogs defensive end Chauncey Rivers chose to reach towards the back of Burrow’s pants because the defense has been incapable of getting the Tigers quarterback to falter and, well, show his ass on national television. For the day, Burrow completed 78 percent of his passes for 327 yards and four touchdowns. Among those four scores was a 37-yard pass to Derrick Dillon, who was fortunate enough to be on the receiving end on a pass that frustratingly accurate.
His next drive was just as impressive because of the fact that the 18-yard touchdown he completed to Justin Jefferson broke LSU’s single-season passing touchdown record with 29. In case you’re not anywhere near a calendar, I’ll take this time to remind you that we’re only halfway through October.
Is it possible that this record says more about the school’s quarterback history than it does about the quarterback himself? To a certain degree, sure, but Burrow has still played well enough this season to be considered at, or even above, the level of the Jalen Hurtses and Tua Tagovailoas of the world. Entering Saturday’s game, he had 2,157 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, and led the nation in completion percentage at 79.6—meaning today’s performance (78.1 percent) was a detriment to that stat. This also comes just one week after he went an impressive 21-of-24 for 293 yards and three touchdowns against a Florida Gators defense that led the nation in picks, and the SEC in sacks. Not only did Burrow lead the Tigers to a 21-point comeback in the 42-28 win, he also avoided throwing a pick or taking any sacks.
As with any college season, all of this praise could be for naught by the time the season ends as one game could fuck up a team’s direction for the year—just ask Wisconsin. Burrow’s biggest challenges will come in the next two weeks when he has to play No. 11 Auburn and No. 1 Alabama, respectively. At No. 2 in the country, LSU has the talent to take one of those games. That being said, if the Burrow and the Tigers are able to take both, not only should Ed Orgeron’s boys start early preparations for a playoff run, but Burrow might want to start rehearsing his Heisman acceptance speech.