The Louisiana State University Tigers won their third National Championship in sixteen years Monday night, their Heisman-winning quarterback Joe Burrow making it look pretty easy on the way to throwing for 463 yards, tossing five touchdowns and running for another, while star running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire racked up 110 yards on the ground.
But while the Ed Orgeron-coached team was naturally eager to celebrate after their 42-25 victory over the Clemson Tigers, police — and some in the sports reporters — weren’t going to let them engage in one particular celebratory tradition:
Get The Nat pic.twitter.com/1udC79q6cc
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) January 14, 2020
As pointed out by Twitchy, the media was quick to sound the alarm over all that championship-celebrating cigar smoke.
ESPN’s Heather Dinich was particularly concerned about the “suffocating” smoke.
“It was so unbelievably smoky in the LSU locker room from the players smoking cigars I can taste it … and no, I didn’t have one. It was suffocating,” wrote Dinich.
It was so unbelievably smoky in the LSU locker room from the players smoking cigars I can taste it … and no, I didn’t have one. It was suffocating.
— Heather Dinich (@CFBHeather) January 14, 2020
After about 15 minutes, police got involved — and threatened to arrest players who didn’t put out the stogies.
“A smoke-filled LSU locker room got a surprise warning early Tuesday morning,” AL.com reports. “A police officer threw water on the party when telling the national champions they could not smoke the cigars that burned for easily 15 minutes after beating Clemson. In fact, the officer announced to the players any smoking cigars in the locker room would be subject to arrest.”
“Several players holding stogies laughed at the warning like it was a joke but the cop wasn’t smiling,” the outlet notes.
Several players holding stogies laughed at the warning like it was a joke but the officer wasn’t smiling.
— AL.com (@aldotcom) January 14, 2020
According to the outlet, another officer also spoke with the players, saying while he thought a smoke in the locker room wasn’t a big deal, his commander said otherwise.
In the end, no one was arrested, and the players — and their many diehard fans in Louisiana — continued celebrating long into the night.
The game ultimately played out as many analysts predicted: LSU’s high-powered offense eventually wore down Clemson, whose usually stout defense couldn’t keep up with Burrow’s precise arm and LSU’s talented receiving core. Clemson started off strong, scoring first and gaining a 10-point edge early on, but LSU started gaining momentum by the end of the first half.
Clemson pulled the game to within 3 in the early third quarter, 25-28, but it was all LSU after that. After Burrow helped the team gain a 17-point lead early in the 4th quarter, Edwards-Helaire took over on the ground, chewing up yards and time.
By the end of the night, LSU had racked up 628 yards of offense (463 passing and 165 rushing), while Clemson managed over 200 yards less (394 total, 234 passing, 160 rushing). LSU ended the game with no turnovers, while Clemson had one, a fumble by star quarterback Trevor Lawrence in a key fourth quarter-drive in LSU territory.
As ESPN notes, Burrow’s six touchdowns (five passing, one rushing) and 463 yards passing are the best of any quarterback in a BCS or College Football Playoff title game.