Joe Burrow began ascension versus 2018 Miami football team

Sep 2, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 2, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

Three seasons ago Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow had transferred to LSU from Ohio State and made his first collegiate start against the Miami football team. Number eight Miami entered the 2018 season opener against LSU as a 3.5 point favorite and was given a 69.5 percent chance to defeat number 25 LSU.

LSU dominated Miami in a game that was not as close as the 33-17 final score. Miami scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter after they trailed 33-3 entering the fourth quarter. Burrow was a game manager at best in the LSU victory. The 2019 Heisman Trophy winner was 11-24 for 148 yards, no TDs and no interceptions.

LSU was carried offensively by running back Nick Brosette who had 22 carries for 125 and wide receiver Justin Jefferson who had five receptions for 81 yards. Cole Tracy kicked four field goals including a 54 yarder for LSU in the victory. Jacob Phillips had a 45-yard interception return TD for LSU 35 seconds after a Tracy field goal.

Burrow led LSU to wins in his first five starts. The Tigers finished 10-3 in 2018 setting the foundation for their 15-0, 2019 National Championship season. Burrow finished the 2018 season completing 57.8 percent of his passes for 2,894 yards, 16 TDs and five interceptions. LSU hired Joe Brady as passing game coordinator in 2019.

In his 2019 Heisman Trophy-winning season, Burrow completed 76.3 percent of his passes for 5,671 passing yards a then FBS record 60 TDs and six interceptions. The loss to LSU in the 2018 opener was a microcosm for what would occur the remainder of the season. Poor QB play and special teams doomed the Hurricanes.

The Miami football team won their next five games after losing to LSU. That was followed by a four-game losing streak. The Hurricanes rallied with wins over Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh to finish the season before losing 35-3 to Wisconsin in the Pinstripe Bowl. Head coach Mark Richt retired three days later.

Next. Miami collapses in second quarter in 2018 LSU blowout. dark

Compared to Burrow, Miami would struggle at QB in 2018 and 2019. Under Richt, Malik Rosier and N’Kosi Perry completed 51.1 percent of their passes for 167.3 yards per game, 19 TDs and 14 interceptions. Perry and Jarren Williams continued the inconsistent QB play in 2019 before D’Eriq King arrived to create stability.