TIGERS STUN SEC POWERHOUSE LOUISIANA STATE IN 2012 CHICK-FIL-A BOWL
You can put those “West Virginia scored again” jokes on ice … and silence at least some of the dismissive talk about the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Clemson University overcame a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter to knock off eighth-ranked Louisiana State on New Year’s Eve – grinding out a gutsy, signature win over one of the powerful Southeastern Conference’s elite programs in the 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl. To pull off this improbable 25-24 upset, Clemson’s much-maligned defense had to make a pair of critical fourth quarter stops against the Bayou Bengals. Meanwhile its offense had to convert a long fourth down play against one of the nation’s top defenses just to give second team All-ACC kicker Chandler Catanzaro his shot at a 37-yard game winner.
They did … and Catanzaro split the uprights with his kick (even after LSU tried to “ice” him).
“We grew up tonight,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said, savoring perhaps the biggest win in his five-year Clemson career. “I’ve been telling them ‘you’re at the doorway of greatness,’ sooner or later you gotta step through the door.”
With the upset No. 14 Clemson (11-2, 7-1 ACC) earned a healthy dose of national respect as well as the program’s first 11-win season since 1981 (and fourth in program history). The Tigers also staked their claim to a Top Ten finish – which would be their first in more than two decades.
Meanwhile LSU (10-3, 6-2 SEC) lost to an ACC opponent for the first time since 1955 – and lost a non-conference game for only the second time under head coach Les Miles.
Miles – whose team was playing for the national title a year ago – found himself on the receiving end of some stinging criticism from LSU fans when his team’s usually conservative, run-happy offense inexplicably called three passing plays on its last drive of the game. Clinging to a 24-22 lead, LSU needed just one first down on its final possession to put the game on ice. Why, then, did Miles call three passing plays in a row – stopping the clock and enabling Clemson to preserve all three of its timeouts?
That was the burning question in Baton Rouge, Louisiana as 2012 ticked into 2013 … a question Miles has yet to satisfactorily answer, by the way.
Playing without All-American wide receiver Sammy Watkins – who was knocked out of the game on the Tigers second play from scrimmage – Clemson’s offense was forced to rely almost exclusively on 2012 ACC Player of the Year Tajh Boyd. And did Boyd ever respond – turning in one of the grittiest, most courageous performances we’ve ever seen from a college quarterback.
Boyd completed 36 of 50 passes for 346 yards and a pair of touchdowns – including a 12-yard strike to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins with just under three minutes left in the game that brought Clemson within two points. The 6-foot-1, 225-pound junior also ran 29 times for 22 yards – including an 11-yard touchdown run which answered an early LSU score.
But Boyd’s stats weren’t what was so inspiring- it was the heart he showed. Pounded relentlessly all night by LSU’s nationally renowned defense, Boyd kept picking himself up off the Georgia Dome turf to rally Clemson in critical situations. And it was invariably Hopkins on the receiving end of his passes when he did. The speedy 6-foot-1, 200-pound junior receiver set a Chick-fil-A Bowl record with 191 receiving yards on 13 catches – including a pair of scores.
None of Hopkins’ catches was more critical than the 26-yard pass he hauled in from Boyd on fourth-and-sixteen with less than a minute-and-a-half on the clock – a clutch reception that kept Clemson’s game-winning drive alive.
Every bit as impressive as Clemson’s last second offensive heroics was the effort turned in by its unheralded defense. First-year coordinator Brent Venables’ unit sacked LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger six times (3.5 of which came courtesy of senior defensive end Malliciah Goodman) and picked him off once. More importantly, Clemson’s “D” forced eight three-and-outs – including stops on the Tigers’ final three possessions of the game.
Courtesy of the ACC Digital Network, here are some Chick-fil-A Bowl highlights …
CLEMSON vs. LSU Stats (.pdf)
“Dat boy” did what I didn’t 60 years ago.
53 years. It’s the wine, dammit!
Tell Sun-visor Steve he’s welcome since Clemson did something this year he couldn’t do. Oh and Florida just scored again….
What? Beat yourself four times in a row? I’m confused.
I should have said”lose to Carolina four times in a row?”. You’re absolutely right, Steve couldn’t do that.
he still couldnt beat the gamecocks
No, I read somewhere since 1994!
All the gamecocks on this site are busy trying to figure out how to make their mobile home payment since they bet it on LSU
no I just cashed in on the note to your trailor you redneck
During the post-game interview I was waiting for Dabba Doo to say “Brent… Chad… Tito… somebody get me a tissue!” What a weenie. Still, gotta hand it to Boyd, Hopkins, and the “other” Ellington- the three of them played a hell of a game, albeit against a team that was *not* the same LSU that cleaned USC’s clock earlier this season. Best wishes to Sammy for a quick recovery, too.
Wow, that didn’t take long for a chicken to down play the Clemson win against LSU. LSU wasn’t the same team that whipped USC……. Lol that’s funny….Which time? I know this much….Carolina wouldn’t have beat LSU tonight.
let me know when they beat LSu at Death Valley, the real one
I want to hear all these cocksuckers come clean on that victory…if you don’t, you are some bullshit fans. That win was a deserved win, Tigers overcame many hurdles to win.
Awesome and unbelievable win tonight…. what happened to Big T? He’s mighty quiet tonight…..
The Tiggers done good and should be given their due for a truly epic effort.
LSU is already loading the airwaves with the traditional Tiger “we beat ourselves” excuses.
And no doubt this victory will be a great pat on the rear for those seniors who never beat Carolina.
Regrettably the rest of us will have to endure Clemzum’s contortions and self-mutilations of supposed redemption after a long overdue victory over a quality opponent.
The only thing this game proved is that Wes’ stupid psychic play calling went right over Dayboo’s deaf, dumb, and blind head.
That being said, heck of a game, Clemson. You represented!
ACC! ACC! ACC!
JOKE! JOKE! JOKE!
I’m a prophet: I TOLD (go look it up) that Dabo and his idiot minions (like FITS) would be (like) proclaiming it the Biggest Win in Football history if they were to catch a lack-luster effort from an LSU team that is mediocre away from Baton Rouge…
The WORST thing about the Tater’s impobable major upset win: The Dullards of college football (FITS and Co.) are now going to place Clemson Right back in the National Championship conversations…and that’s just Laughjable…
Same ol’ Clemson. LSU just quit in the end…this is an abberation…
what the hell is wrong with you? You ARE A HATER!
To all the LSU fans, you have just seen the madness of the “Mad Hatter.” Les Miles gave that win to Clemson with his play calling on LSU’s last drive. While I have no earthly idea what that man was thinking, I have to give props to Clemson — they made the most of their opportunity at the end of the game.
Clemson wanted it more and never gave in. Plain and simple. As a Carolina fan, I have to admit I was surprised.
Big win for Clemson. Miles should be strung up by LSU fans for not having his team prepared; Dabo and crew had their troops ready.
Good football game full of hard hitting, big plays by Boyd and Hopkins, a Clemson defense that played its best game of year, a pitiful performance by LSU secondary, lackluster attitude by Les Miles and very poor discipline by LSU players. They took cheap shots all night and then when frustration set in, their “injuries” mounted.
Now, refs made some interesting calls (non football move call?) but overall, Clemson just did what was necessary to win.
Now Clemson fans need to ask Dabo if he can do that in Columbia this year.
The Biggeast Win in the last 30 years for Clemson….
Like Obama: Everybody in the World thought he should be fired…but now, Like Obama, through some inexplicable hook or crook, the D@&n fools will make this Dumb@$$ their King and savior….
Go back to bed you asshole. As usual you have nothing intellegent to say wheather it be about politics, sports, or anything for that matter.
LOL LMFAO!!!! youre calling out big (f@660)T and you misspell “intellegent?” LOL LMFAO!!!!!!
Crow don’t taste too damn bad if you soak it in ying ling for a couple of hours.
Congratulations to Clemson Football Players. As for the rest of the Clemson World, bite me.
Does Historic Upset mean yall will keep Dabo for 10 more years????
15 in a Row…Has a nice ring to it….
Wish we could fire you! It would be worth the salary buyout!
i’ll give clemson some credit. that was the best game of the bowl season so far and tahj boyd is an nfl-caliber qb and they did it without sammy and that 4th and 16 pass was the highlight of da BLOW swinney’s entire career.. but this win was a another example of les miles clock managing away an easy win. (and also, how come lsu couldnt figure out they needed to cover nuke?)also, this game was a near carbon copy of WHEN NC STATE BEAT FSU this year. the best part of the whole night was seeing clemson players wearing hats that said “CHAMPIONS” across the front. champions of what? not SC state champions. not even ACC champions. not even ACC divisional champions. what the fuck are they champions of? the chicken sandwich bowl?
Clemzum’s 11-win season is its first in about three decades. With a global median age of 24.3 years or so, most of the world had never seen an 11-win season by the Taters until last night…..
Funny, My son saw the first gamcock bowl victory the same day I did….
Funnier still that Clemson beat the #8 team in the nation (who also beat the #3 Gamecocks) yet the Spurrier and his band of parolees had their hands FULL with a team that was barely in the top 20.
Big win for the kitties! Keep Dabo for life! Please
LSU is over-rated and a mediocre-like team away from Baton Rouge…
Miles SCREWED up big time too…He can really make himslf look like an idiots at times…
You are sad pathetic person BigT. You will have a painful 2013.
Clemson and Obama won. Like it or not, there is a football “winter storm” watch in the SC upstate.
Take some pills, will you?
Agree with you on that Big T. Away from home LSU is not very good.Factor in the injuries LSU sustained , and at best Clemson played a depleated defense.
Tiger fans i have to say your team without a doubt played their best game of the year,however, keep it real. Enjoy the victory,maybe you will get “lucky” and play a beat up, depleated Gamecock team @ Williams Brice in 2013 and stop the streak.
I know the history all to well,so don’t even go there.But i am predicting the streak will continue until 2016. JMO !
The Biggest Win in Clemson History is versus a 3-loss SEC under-acheiver, that was playing (and playing poorly) on the road…
“By BigT January 1, 2013 at 7:38 am
I’m a prophet: I TOLD (go look it up) that…”
Whoa there, Nastradamus! Look it up…Perry, Romney….etc…
Clemson is a good team, which they proved wits its one point victory over LSU on neutral turf. Regardless, South Carolina has a better team than Clemson, which was evidenced by the ass-kicking it put on Clemson in Death Valley-lite with a back-up quarterback and third-string running back.
Big T says “I just think—-_). Run for cover as he is absolutely the stupidest ass to ever come aboard.
Best win since 2004! It would be USucs best win all time! Hey Cocksuckers we are gonna start our 3rd 4-peat since 2000 this year! You are the most pathetic fanbase on the planet! Clemson has known how pathetic USuC is and always will be AND now after the minute success USuC has had with the SEC East being down everybody ib the nation knows it to. Bama, LSU UGA & Florida said quit riding their nutz and quit trying to steal their credit & accomllishments! The ACC still owns you. USC still has a bad losing record to EVERY ACC TEAM except 2! ROFL! CHICKEN CURSE Is alive and well! How else do u explain not winning a CLUCKING THING in your 2 BEST YEARS! Hardy-har-har !!! LOLZ LOLZ The sh!77iest cock gobbliing team of all time award GOES TO???!? THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA GAMEHENS!!! LOLOLOL