By the tale of the tape, Oklahoma (12-1) and LSU seem much more evenly matched than by the eye test. The Sooners allow fewer yards per game than the Tigers. They have a two-time Heisman trophy finalist at quarterback in Jalen Hurts. Wideout CeeDee Lamb, one of the nation’s best and a surefire NFL prospect, has 58 catches for 1,208 yards and 14 touchdowns. What’s not to like about that?
Well, the Big 12 is considerably weaker than the SEC, and Oklahoma — the only semifinalist with a loss this season — also has an 0-3 record in College Football Playoff games. Meanwhile, LSU, pride of the cannibalistic SEC, was unscathed by Alabama (before Tua Tagovailoa’s injury), escaped Auburn (perhaps Burrow’s worst game, when he still completed 76 percent of his passes) and walloped Florida and Georgia by a combined 41 points.
Let’s recount Burrow’s stats, because they’re so fun: 4,715 yards, 48 touchdowns to 6 interceptions, a mind-bending 77.9 percent of completion percentage. He’ll look to connect with wide receivers Ja’Marr Chase (73 catches, 1,498 yards, 18 touchdowns), Justin Jefferson and Terrace Marshall and dangerous tight end Thad Moss, the son of Hall of Famer Randy Moss.
LSU halfback Clyde Edwards-Helaire (1,290 rushing yards, 16 touchdowns; 50 catches, 399 yards) will be a game-time decision, Coach Ed Orgeron said Thursday, thanks to a hamstring injury.
For Oklahoma, defensive lineman Ronnie Perkins (38 tackles, six sacks), running back Rhamondre Stevenson (515 yards, six touchdowns) and second-string receiver Trejan Bridges will miss the game due to team suspensions.