Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow sounded a little wistful about missing out on a possible matchup with Ohio State, his former team, in the national championship game.
Burrow, who spent his first three seasons in Columbus before leaving as a graduate transfer, led Louisiana State to a rout of Oklahoma in the semifinals of the College Football Playoff on Saturday, before watching the Buckeyes stumble later in the evening to Clemson.
“It would have been fun to play a lot of my old teammates and my old friends,” Burrow said during a teleconference with reporters Thursday. “There would have been some trash talk and some friendly trash talk and it would have been a lot of fun, but we'll play whoever.”
The Tigers will play defending national champion Clemson, which overcame a 16-0 deficit in the first half against the Buckeyes, before prevailing in a 29-23 victory. Burrow was prolific in his matchup, throwing for 493 yards and seven touchdowns in the 63-28 win over Oklahoma.
The loss to Clemson ended Ohio State’s undefeated season and national championship aspirations.
“It was a fun game to watch,” Burrow said. “Everyone was battling their tails off, and I know a lot of those guys worked so hard to get to that moment, and being with them for three years, it was kind of sad a little bit to see their season end like that. But I know they worked really hard to get there.”
After leaving Ohio State a year and a half ago, Burrow maintained a close bond with members of the program and kept an affinity for the school.
At the Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York, he hugged Buckeyes coach Ryan Day and strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti, among others, before accepting the award on the stage at the PlayStation Theatre.
When Burrow ended his speech, he delivered a line that acknowledged his former school and home state.
“When I lift this trophy, it's for LSU, Ohio State, southeast Ohio, and all of Louisiana,” he said.
The national championship game will be in New Orleans on Jan. 13.