BATON ROUGE, La. -- Joe Burrow came to Louisiana as an Ohioan who couldn't land the starting quarterback job at Ohio State. He left the Tiger Stadium field Saturday night as Joe Burreaux, a record-setting quarterback, the Heisman Trophy frontrunner and an adopted son of the Bayou.
Burrow, who began senior night wearing a custom-made "BURREAUX" jersey, set the SEC's single-season passing yards record in No. 2 LSU's 50-7 win over Texas A&M. The senior passed for 352 yards and three touchdowns, giving him 4,366 yards for the season. Burrow's 11-yard completion to running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the third quarter broke the previous SEC record of 4,275 yards, set by Kentucky's Tim Couch in 1998. Burrow's 44 touchdown passes are tied with Missouri's Drew Lock for the single-season SEC record.
LSU improved to 12-0 and posted its third undefeated regular season and first since 2011.
Burrow recorded his sixth straight 300-yard passing performance and 10th of the season. Last week, he became the first player in SEC history to pass for 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns in a season.
"Since I was 10 years old, this is what I've always wanted to do," said Burrow, who transferred from Ohio State as a graduate in the spring of 2018. "I said in the past my goal was never to be the quarterback of an NFL team. I wanted to be the quarterback of a top-10 team, playing in the national championship game, and we have a chance to do that.
"This is a dream come true for me."
Burrow said he thought about wearing the "BURREAUX" jersey for senior introductions early in the week and checked with LSU's equipment staff if they could make it happen.
"That was his appreciation for the state of Louisiana," Tigers coach Ed Orgeron said. "He asked if he can do it, and I said, 'Hell yeah.' Louisiana's a special place and LSU's a special place, and when you play for the Tigers, you're a Tiger."
Burrow ties SEC record for TD passes in a season
Joe Burrow passes to Ja'Marr Chase for an 18-yard touchdown, which gives Burrow 44 total TD passes on the season, tying a SEC record.
Burrow wore his regular jersey when the game kicked off. He connected with Ja'Marr Chase, a Biletnikoff Award finalist, seven times for 197 yards and two touchdowns. Burrow, who broke LSU's single-season touchdown pass record (28) last month and the school's single-season passing yards record (3,347) two weeks ago, is on pace to set the NCAA's single-season completion record (78.3 percent).
Orgeron called timeout after LSU's first play of the fourth quarter and substituted Myles Brennan for Burrow, who waved to the crowd as he walked to the sideline.
"Joe's meant a lot to Louisiana," Orgeron said. "Louisiana's very proud of LSU football. People in Louisiana have heart, man. When they love you, they love you, and they love Joe and Joe loves them. It was a combination of both, just to show his appreciation for the state of Louisiana and LSU, what they've done for him, and more or less what he's done for us."
Before leaving the field, Burrow ran over to the LSU student section, which had chants of "Joe for Heisman" during the game. Burrow is widely expected to become LSU's second Heisman Trophy winner (Billy Cannon in 1959).
"Obviously, I don't go to class because I only take online classes, so I don't get to see any of those people," Burrow joked of visiting the student section. "I just wanted to see them for the first time and thank them for coming to the games and making this the best atmosphere in the country."
After losing to Texas A&M in seven overtimes last season in College Station, LSU scored on its first five possessions and led 31-0 at halftime. The Tigers defense, which has struggled at times this season, allowed only four first downs and 40 total yards in the first half.
LSU dropped a spot to No. 2 in Tuesday's college football playoff rankings, and selection committee chair Rob Mullens said Ohio State moved to No. 1 because the Buckeyes have been "a complete team all year." Mullens added of LSU: "Obviously, LSU has a very strong offense. But to date their defense isn't quite as strong as Ohio State's."
Burrow said the Tigers defense "sent a message to the country" with its performance against Texas A&M. LSU has allowed more than 450 yards four times, including 541 to Alabama on Nov. 9 and 614 (402 rushing) to Ole Miss on Nov. 16. The Tigers allowed just 169 yards, their lowest total in an SEC game and third-lowest of the season.
"It hit us hard, it was personal," Tigers linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson said. "Coach O, he kept preaching about not being into that, but there's [only] so much you can block out. We take that personal. It's too many great guys on this defense, high-caliber guys that's ranked on an elite level. We know personally that we weren't producing like we'd like to, but the consistent disrespect throughout the season, we made sure it was personal this game to prove people wrong and prove to ourselves that we're the dominant defense we need to be."
LSU next week makes its first SEC championship game appearance since 2011, as it takes on No. 4 Georgia.