Joe Burrow completed a special regular season with a Heisman Trophy.  Burrow led LSU to a 13-0 record and a place in the college football playoff spot.  Individually, Burrow threw for 4,715 yards, an unbelievable 49 touchdowns, and only six picks.  This is especially remarkable given that last season, he only threw for 16 touchdowns and five interceptions.  It only took Burrow four games to pass 16 touchdowns last season. A meteoric rise now has him sitting on top of college football and sitting at the top of NFL mock drafts.  So what made Joe Burrow so special this season?

Long Road To LSU

Joe Burrow originally committed to Ohio State, spending two seasons there as a backup before transferring.  Burrow wanted to go to Nebraska, but coach Scott Frost deemed him not good enough, so he ended up in Louisiana suiting up in purple and gold.  It was obviously tough for Burrow to leave Ohio State as he grew up in a small town in Ohio. But this was needed if he wanted to play big-time college football.  LSU seemed like a good fit. They were in need of a quarterback since the Tigers have always seemed to be held back by a bad offense. Burrow could start right away and show how good he was.

Great Supporting Crew On The Bayou

It is impossible to not attribute at least some of Joe Burrow’s breakout season to his coaches.  Head coach Ed Orgeron, offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger, and passing game coordinator Joe Brady were instrumental in Burrow’s success.  Ensminger and Brady have made a huge difference for Burrow. Ensminger was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2018 and Brady was a former offensive assistant with the New Orleans Saints before coming to Baton Rouge this season.  In the 2018 season, Ensminger was in his first year as offensive coordinator and Brady was not there. Burrow only had the 16 touchdowns. In Ensminger’s second year and Brady’s first, Burrow exploded with 49 touchdowns. They have put Burrow in a great position to win.  These two men built the offense around him and let him do what was necessary to win. Without them, this may have never happened with Burrow.

Head coach Ed Orgeron gave Burrow the chance.  He brought Burrow in and had faith in him to start him in his second season, after a dismal first season.  In Burrow’s Heisman speech, he was choking up about how much Orgeron meant to him and his family. The relationship between the two is amazing, without him, Burrow would never have had the chance to become the quarterback of the LSU Tigers.

Two Game-Changers

The play of Joe Burrow’s top two receivers has been nothing short of sensational.  Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson both had over 1,000 receiving yards and caught for a combined total of 32 touchdowns.  Ja’Marr Chase led the country in receiving yards with 1,498 and he also brought home the Biletnikoff Award, which is given to the country’s top wide receiver.  Both these receivers have made so many great plays that helped Burrow gain confidence in them and also inflate his stats. They also accounted for 47 percent of Burrow’s completed passes this season.  They are both special playmakers and Burrow has benefitted from their ability.

Before this season, it was easy to write off Burrow and the LSU Tigers, but as the season wore on, it became crystal clear that Joe Burrow was a different player.  He has made huge throws all season that shows his top-tier NFL talent. Everything worked this year for Burrow, he had a solid offensive line, a great coaching staff that had faith in him, and special playmakers on offense that he trusted.  Burrow has been unbelievable, but everything around him has only helped his play on the field drastically improve. This season turned him from a late-round NFL prospect and another LSU quarterback who was below-average, to a top 3 projected pick and an LSU legend.

Josh Auzenne/WAFB-TV