SEC Championship Football

LSU quarterback and Heisman Trophy front-runner Joe Burrow celebrates with teammates after beating Georgia in the Southeastern Conference championship game Saturday in Atlanta. LSU will play in the CFP.

ATLANTA — Is there anything Joe Burrow can't do at this point?

LSU's resident folk hero continued his story-book season by delivering the school its first Southeastern Conference championship since 2011, punctuating his own campaign for the Heisman Trophy in the process.

Burrow riddled one of the nation's stingiest defenses for 349 yards and four touchdowns. He scrambled around like a modern-day Fran Tarkenton and finished with 53 yards rushing, excluding sacks. He even caught his own batted pass and ran with it for a first down.

"I told the O-line before the game, ‘This one is going to be a lot of fun. I can feel it,'" Burrow smiled. "That's exactly what it was."

Led by Burrow, who took home MVP honors, No. 2 LSU made its case for the top seed in the College Football Playoffs with a complete evisceration of No. 4 Georgia, rolling 37-10 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday night.

"In my opinion, he's the best player in the country," LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said. "In my opinion, he should win (the Heisman). In my opinion, he's going to win it. But you know what's the best thing about Joe? He's a team player, and all he wanted to do was win this game."

LSU (13-0, 8-0 SEC) would've found its way into the four-team playoff regardless of what happened in Atlanta on Saturday. But the Tigers made their case to supplant Ohio State atop rankings with this latest dominant performance.

The four-team playoff field will be unveiled at 11:15 a.m. today on ESPN. LSU could conceivably be right back at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for a national semifinal in a few weeks.

"Tonight wasn't our final destination," Orgeron said. "We know that. We don't know where we're going to go and we don't know who we're going to play. Wherever they tell us to go, whoever they tell us to play, we'll be ready to go."

Ohio State leapfrogged LSU largely because the Buckeyes were seen as a more "complete" team by the playoff committee. LSU's defense was widely regarded as a liability following lackluster showings against the likes of Ole Miss and Arkansas.

LSU's defense has responded with back-to-back dominant showings against Texas A&M and Georgia. Freshman Derek Stingley Jr. intercepted Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm twice. The defensive front suffocated Georgia's ground game to the tune of 61 yards at a paltry clip of 2.4 yards per carry.

"This game kind of proved a point," Stingley said. "A lot of people didn't respect us, but we came out tonight and played, and we showed everybody what we're made of."

Both LSU and Georgia made mistakes in the first half, but LSU took a 17-3 lead into the intermission because Burrow and his receivers made plays to put points on the board.

Burrow held the ball in the pocket for more than 8 seconds — a credit to his offensive line — before finding Ja'Marr Chase for a 23-yard touchdown to get the scoring started. He hooked up with Terrace Marshall on a 7-yard score to put the Tigers up 14-0 in the first quarter.

Georgia (11-2, 7-1 SEC) got on the board with a Rodrigo Blankenship field goal in the second quarter, but LSU answered with a kick from Cade York before the half. The Bulldogs made too many mistakes in the first half, and an avalanche was coming after the intermission.

LSU reeled off 17 unanswered points in the third quarter. Burrow probably didn't need a Heisman moment to punctuate his campaign, but he got one anyway to help put LSU's first conference crown in eight years on ice.

Leading 20-3 in the third quarter, LSU got the ball back and delivered a knockout blow in the form of a jaw-dropping scramble drill. Burrow juked his way around a red wall of unblocked would-be tacklers, rolled to his right and found Justin Jefferson downfield for a 71-yard play.

"It was all improvised," Burrow said. "Justin ran a 6-yard hitch route. When he saw me scrambling, he took off deep. We got a great feel for each other. I knew exactly where he was going to be when I got out of there."

LSU cashed in three plays later on a touchdown strike from Burrow to Marshall, his second of the day. Stingley's second interception set LSU up on a short field, and a Burrow-to-Jefferson touchdown sent any remaining Georgia fans streaming toward the exits.

The fourth quarter was largely a formality with the game well out of hand. By the time the confetti started falling, most of the crowd had filed out. Those who remained were purple-and-gold clad and screaming for a championship years in the making.

"I'm just happy for the people," Orgeron said. "I know what it means to them to see all our fans cheering and all the Georgia fans not there. We owned this stadium today. It was a good feeling."

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