Tigers Dancing Their Way Into LSU's Record Books, One Touchdown at a Time
A re-shuffled offensive line. A hangover from a monumental victory. A cold front. A late hit on the sideline. Any defense, anywhere.
Ten games in, ten games won, and a few more records broken. More proof that no external force can stop Joe Burrow and LSU’s offense. The historic outputs, the gaudy box scores, the high-scoring march toward Atlanta, and the post-score dance parties in the endzone – all equally inevitable.
Burrow, the leader of that parade of inevitability, was at his best, once again, Saturday night, marching the Tigers up and down the field in a 58-point, 714-yard outburst. Burrow finished 32-of-42 for 489 yards and 4 touchdowns, completing, at one point, 16 straight passes – a school record – and moving up to 3,687 yards for the season – another school record.
Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson, meanwhile, showed off their moves on Saturday night, too, before and after the catch. Chase caught eight passes for 227 yards and three touchdowns to set a new single-season school record for touchdown receptions (13). Jefferson added nine catches for 112 yards and two scores, bringing him up to 11 for the year. Together, Jefferson and Chase became the second duo in LSU history and the third in SEC history to go over 1,000 yards receiving in the same season.
Some players, like Burrow, ignore records. (To be fair, he’s setting so many that to keep track of them would occupy an inordinate amount of his free time.)
He’s more into letters than numbers.
“Those are just numbers on a stat sheet for us,” he says. “We’re all about the Ws.”
Others, like Chase and Jefferson, take a different approach. Immediately after the game, Jefferson knew, with instant recall, the total touchdown tally for both himself and Chase. Chase, meanwhile, spent the moments before the game in the locker room focused on re-writing the record books.
“Before the game in the locker room, I was actually saying, ‘Let’s set a record,'” Chase says. “I was literally yelling about it the whole day before the game, so it was on my mind, to be honest.”
Statistical recall isn’t the only way Burrow and his receivers differ. Chase and Jefferson bring the levity to the locker room. They laugh. They joke. Most importantly, they dance.
Each debuted a new touchdown celebration on Saturday. Chase brought out the New Orleans bop, while Jefferson hit a Southern Louisiana staple, the Beenie Weenie, on his second score. Of course, Jefferson also played the classics, with his trademark Griddy.
For the receivers, it’s all part of the plan. Their dances are rehearsed, choreographed numbers they look forward to displaying. Chase says the receivers meet before every game during warm ups before they take the field to select their dances of the day.
“We put in a lot of thought,” Jefferson says. “It’s like right before the games, we’re like, ‘What we want to do? Do we want to go back to the old dances or do we want to bring out something new?’ It’s definitely a lot of thought.”
Burrow, on the other hand, is the epitome of stoicism. His highs and his lows are almost indistinguishable. While his receivers dance their way into the record books, Burrow calmly dodges pressure before strolling his way into history.
Burrow pointed to two second half interceptions and four drives that ended in field goal attempts – rather than touchdowns – as evidence he’s got room to improve.
“Things have changed around LSU when you have 700 yards of offense and everyone is upset in the locker room,” he admits.
It’s part of what makes Burrow who he is, but that doesn’t mean his receivers don’t try to get smiles out of him. Game days are off-limits – despite their antics, they know how to lock in when they need to and get ready to perform – but they do their best to bring out a grin from Burrow during the week.
“We try to,” Chase says of attempts to get a laugh out of Burrow, “but he just looks at us and goes like” – here Chase makes an unamused face before rolling his eyes – “and then walks off. That’s what we start laughing at him.”
Chase only knows one method guaranteed to get a smile out of Burrow.
“I tell him he can’t throw,” Chase says. “He don’t like that.”
He does like having two of the most dynamic receivers in the country to throw to, though.
“We have great timing,” he says of Chase and Jefferson. “They’re special players who are going to play a long time. They’re great people and hard workers too. That means more than anything on the football field.”
They’re great dancers, too. We know this, because they can’t stop scoring touchdowns and celebrating accordingly.
“We’re just going to keep dancing in the end zone,” Jefferson says. “As long as (the refs) don’t tell us anything.”
Until then, nothing can stop the Tigers from doing a little dancing and a lot of scoring.