As he stood in the end zone once again, even his own performance seemed to astound Justin Jefferson. He held up his right hand toward the crowd with four fingers raised. Then he lowered it before emphatically counting his digits: "One, two, three, four."
Forgive Jefferson for his incredulous reaction. He had already caught four touchdown passes by the nine-minute mark of the second quarter in a College Football Playoff semifinal against the No. 4 team in the country. No player in FBS bowl-game history has caught more in an entire game. And in the regular season, Jefferson was LSU's second-best receiver.
If Joe Burrow wanted to count his touchdown passes in the first half of an eventual 63-28 win over Oklahoma on Saturday in the Peach Bowl, he would have needed both hands. He recorded more touchdown tosses in two quarters against Oklahoma (seven) than Northwestern did the entire season. The game was over by halftime, and Burrow was able to spend the final 14 minutes watching from LSU's sideline.
It all felt like a coronation.
LSU shellacked Oklahoma, notching a five-touchdown victory that could have been far, far worse. The Tigers validated their No. 1 ranking by handing OU its worst loss in 15 years. Arguably the best offense in the country completely overwhelmed the Sooners, who were down two starting defensive backs and one defensive lineman.
Burrow, who threw just six touchdown passes over his first nine career starts at LSU, tossed seven and ran for an eighth, passing for 493 yards and rushing for 22. Jefferson proved too much for Oklahoma's backups in the secondary, catching 14 passes for 227 yards.
When OU rushed three and dropped eight, Burrow picked the Sooners apart. When Oklahoma tried to apply pressure, LSU's receivers won matchups. It didn't matter what the Sooners attempted.
The Tigers' offense broke a seemingly endless list of bowl and playoff records. Burrow set playoff records for touchdowns, passing yards, and total yards, while Jefferson set the playoff receiving yards and touchdown records. LSU also matched the SEC team record for most points scored in a bowl game.
Defensively, LSU made Jalen Hurts uncomfortable early, holding him to five first-half completions. As the Tigers surged ahead, Oklahoma abandoned any hope of relying on the run. The Sooners rushed for fewer than 100 yards for the first time in Lincoln Riley's 42 games as their head coach.
And LSU did it all without asking for much from arguably the team's two best playmakers.
Ja'Marr Chase, who won the Biletnikoff Award earlier this month, caught two passes, and he was targeted just three times. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who led the Tigers with 1,290 rushing yards in the regular season, carried the ball two times for 14 yards. Questionable to play before the game, Edwards-Helaire was able to rest his injured hamstring once the Tigers built a comfortable lead.
LSU also dominated while processing the most devastating, unthinkable news. Carley McCord, a sports reporter and the daughter-in-law of LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger, was one of five people killed in a plane crash in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Saturday. No one would have been upset at Ensminger for not coaching in the Peach Bowl, but he was there in the coaches' booth. LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said in his postgame interview with ESPN he would be handing Ensminger the game ball.
Much will be made of the fact that Oklahoma, the Big 12 champion, was by far the weakest team in this year's College Football Playoff, and consequently, LSU faced an easier opponent rather than squaring off against Ohio State or Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl. But the Sooners, with the Heisman Trophy runner-up leading them, are still one of the nation's elite teams, and they didn't look quite like this during any of their previous appearances in the CFP.
LSU set the stage to potentially be remembered as a historically great team if it wins the national championship on Jan. 13.
While playing in the toughest division of the toughest conference in the nation, the Tigers have won 11 of 14 games by double digits. They've scored 36-plus points in all but one game, and have passed for 300-plus yards in every game. The Tigers defeated the No. 5 team in the country by 27 and the No. 4 team by 35 the last two times they've taken the field.
In 16 days, LSU will play for the national title in its home state, and the Tigers could be favored to win their first national championship in 12 years. They could also complete their first undefeated season since 1958.
Bourbon Street's inventory will be depleted.