Jayden Daniels and Joe Burrow: Comparing LSU football's last two Heisman Trophy finalists

BATON ROUGE – Nobody could have expected it four years ago.

Jayden Daniels was a freshman quarterback at Arizona State, leading the Sun Devils to a promising 8-5 campaign while completing 60.7% of his passes for 2,943 yards. Joe Burrow was the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback for LSU football, the eventual national champions and arguably one of the greatest teams in the history of the sport.

Who knew that their paths would cross like this? Daniels, now at LSU, was announced as a Heisman finalist on Monday, becoming the first Tiger to be named as a finalist for the award since Burrow in 2019.

Daniels may also be on the verge of winning the award, as he is the heavy favorite to take home the trophy as of last Friday night, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. If he wins, Daniels would become the third LSU player to ever win the Heisman, joining Billy Cannon in 1959 and Burrow.

So how does Burrow's 2019 season stack up with Jayden's 2023 campaign? Here are five statistics comparing LSU's last two Heisman Trophy finalists.

Burrow bests Daniels in regular season completion percentage and touchdown passes

In 12 regular season games, Burrow holds a slight edge over Daniels in completion percentage and touchdown passes. Burrow threw 44 touchdown passes and completed 78.3% of his passes during the regular season, while Daniels threw 40 touchdown passes and connected with receivers on 72.2% of his throws.

Daniels was the far superior runner in comparison to Burrow

Daniels was the best running quarterback in college football this season, leading the FBS in rushing yards among quarterbacks with 1,134 and scoring 10 touchdowns on the ground.

Those numbers blow Burrow's productivity as a runner out of the water. Burrow only rushed for 248 yards and three touchdowns during the year he won the Heisman Trophy.

Daniels produced more total yards than Burrow

Burrow posted 4,614 total yards during his Heisman winning campaign, not including the SEC Championship Game. Daniels, in the same number of games this season (12) bested Burrow's mark by producing 4,946 total yards.

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Burrow faced a more difficult schedule than Daniels

LSU this season had the No. 10 strength of schedule in the country, according to ESPN's College Football Power Index, following the weekend of conference championships. When Burrow led LSU to a national championship in 2019, it finished the season with the No. 3 strength of schedule in the nation.

Daniels posted a better QBR than Burrow but it's close

Daniels and Burrow are neck and neck when it comes to the all encompassing quarterback statistic QBR.

According to ESPN's Total QBR metric, Daniels posted a 95.7 QBR this season while Burrow – in 13 games including the SEC Championship Game – had a 94.9 QBR in 2019.

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Koki Riley covers LSU sports for The Daily Advertiser. Email him at and follow him on Twitter at @KokiRiley

This article originally appeared on Lafayette Daily Advertiser: Jayden Daniels and Joe Burrow stats as LSU Heisman Trophy finalists