Joe Burrow arrived on Broadway Saturday night as the leading man in a 13-0 show that’s bringing its act to the College Football Playoff as the top seed. LSU’s grad-student quarterback also arrived as the favorite to claim the Heisman Trophy.
There was no upset at the PlayStation Theater in Times Square.
In fact, it was a landslide. Burrow beat O.J. Simpson’s record for largest margin of victory, winning by 1,846 points over Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts to become LSU’s second winner and first since halfback Billy Cannon took the Heisman handoff 60 years ago.
“I think the first thing I want to say ... ” Burrow said before pausing and wiping away tears. “I want to thank my O-line first.”
There were more thanks and more tears. He said later at the nearby Marriott Marquis, “That’s the most I’ve cried in 23 years of living.”
“This entire season has been a dream come true for me,” Burrow added.
After redshirting, then serving as a reserve for two seasons at Ohio State, the Ohio native was beaten out in the spring of 2018 by Dwayne Haskins Jr. for the starting quarterback position. So Burrow, degree in hand after three years, transferred for a chance to play for the Tigers.
Air Burrow took off in this second season as the starter. LSU brought in New Orleans Saints assistant Joe Brady as the passing game coordinator. A lot of offensive guys returned. And the QB flourished in the Tigers’ spread.
The 6-4, 216-pound passer, who wanted to play at Nebraska like his dad and two older brothers but found the feeling not to be mutual, has thrown for a school-record 4,715 yards.
The nation’s leader in touchdown passes? That would be Burrow with a school-record 48. The nation’s leader in accuracy? That would be Burrow, having completed throws at an NCAA-record pace — 77.9 percent.
“I think if you ask the guys at Ohio State how good I was when I first got there, they would tell you they would’ve taken my scholarship away,” Burrow said. “So I’ve come a long way. But what those schools (that passed on me) didn’t account for was I feel like I’m going to be the hardest worker out there. I feel like I’ve worked for this.”
So the SEC champs will take their perfect record to the Peach Bowl in Atlanta Dec. 28 and will play Hurts and fourth-seeded, 12-1 Oklahoma in the semifinals.
“I don’t care about the numbers,” Burrow said. “I care about the wins.”
Hurts’ numbers in his final college season included 3,634 yards and 32 touchdowns via the air. The Alabama transfer has also run for 1,255 yards and 18 scores.
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields finished third in the voting. The sophomore, who transferred from Georgia, has a staggering 40-to-1 ratio of touchdown passes to interceptions for the 13-0 Buckeyes, another semifinal-bound team.
“I think I’ve always done a great job of making decisions,” Fields said.
Chase Young, his teammate who finished fourth, would surely look good in a Giants uniform, or any uniform. The 6-5, 265-pound junior defensive end attacked for a nation-leading and Ohio State-record 16 1/2 sacks in 11 games.
He told TMZ Friday night that “the plan” was to return to school. Young backed off that before the ceremony, saying he was caught “off guard” and that he had no plan yet. “I’ve got to talk about it with my family and pray,” he said. “I feel like God will tell me the answer.”
The Heisman vote
Place Name School 1st place votes 2nd 3rd Total points
1. Joe Burrow, LSU 841 41 3 2,608
2. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma 12 231 264 762
3. Justin Fields, Ohio State 6 271 187 747
4. Chase Young, Ohio State 20 205 173 643
5. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin 6 44 83 189
6. J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State 2 36 36 114
7. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson 3 25 29 88
8. Chuba Hubbard, Okla. State 0 11 46 68
9. Travis Etienne, Clemson 0 7 11 25
10. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama 1 4 13 24
Note: Burrow set the record for largest margin of victory with 1,846 points.