|by Mickey Plyler - Radio Host - Wednesday, January 2, 2013 10:50 AM||
Clemson's 25-24 walk-off win over LSU in Monday's Chick-fil-a Bowl was one of the most memorable in school history.
After the game, some said this was a "landmark win." Some have said this win will lead to bigger and better things. I am not sure what it means in the future but it does bring instant respect to the program.
This was a gutsy performance from a team that showed mental and physical toughness. It was a game that showed resiliency from a bunch of tough players who were tired of hearing how much tougher LSU was going into the game.
This game gave us some incredible individual performances. Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Jr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
View Full Profile, Nuk Hopkins, Brandon FordBrandon Ford
Gr. Tight End
#80 6-4, 240
View Full Profile, Isaiah BattleIsaiah Battle
Fr. Offensive Tackle
#79 6-6, 280
St. George, VA
View Full Profile, Malliciah GoodmanMalliciah Goodman
Sr. Defensive End
#97 6-4, 270
View Full Profile, Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
So. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-1, 290
View Full Profile, D.J. ReaderD.J. Reader
Fr. Defensive Tackle
#48 6-3, 335
View Full Profile, Tig Willard and Travis BlanksTravis Blanks
Fr. Defensive Back
#11 6-1, 190
View Full Profile were some of the guys that really stood out to me.
This game also gave us some unbelievable numbers.
Clemson ran 100 plays while LSU ran only 48. I can't remember a team running more than twice as many plays as the opponent.
Clemson had 32 first downs while LSU had nine.
Both teams had 15 drives. LSU had 12 drives of three plays or less. Only three LSU drives were more than three plays. They had two six-play drives and one eight-play drive. Clemson held LSU to eight three-and-outs.
Clemson only had five drives of three or less plays. Seven of Clemson's 15 drives were eight plays or more. Clemson had one ten-play drive, two 11-play drives, one 12-play drive and a 13-play drive.
Short yardage was a key. Four times LSU had third and two or less and all four times Clemson stopped them. Twice they held Jeremy Hill on running plays, once they sacked Mettenberger and once they batted down a pass.
LSU was big and physical on both lines of scrimmage but Clemson held LSU to 99 yards rushing and ran for 99 yards. Clemson ran the ball 50 times while LSU ran it 25 times.
We thought Clemson had the better passing game but had no idea it would turn into a 346-142 yard advantage.
Clemson doubled LSU's yardage 445 to 219.
The time of possession advantage for Clemson was 36:21 to 23:39.
Clemson dominated the fourth quarter. LSU ran it twice for minus-six yards and threw it four times for seven yards. LSU totaled six plays for one yard in the fourth quarter. They had the ball for 3:34 in the final quarter.
Clemson ran 32 plays in the fourth quarter for 169 yards. Clemson had the ball for 11:26 in the final stanza.
Third downs were huge in this one. LSU converted on only three of 13 third downs while Clemson converted eight of 18 third downs and one huge fourth down.
This game reminded us of several things that are key about this program. First is the idea that Boyd is a warrior. His toughness is what this program is all about. His teammates know it, the Clemson fans know it and now the country knows it. Boyd is a great leader who led this team by example. The toughness he showed Monday night should be legendary. Time and time again he took a beating and time and time again he kept getting up.
We also got a glimpse of Battle who came in to play left tackle when Gifford TimothyGifford Timothy
RS So. Offensive Tackle
#70 6-6, 310
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We got perhaps our final look at Hopkins and if that was the last time he donned the orange and white then he went out with a great performance. His 13 receptions for 191 yards and two touchdowns will be remembered for a long time. Hopkins will go down as one of the best wide receivers in school history.
This game gave us another look at an improved defensive line that produced eight sacks including four in the first quarter. Goodman had the best game of his career. Jarrett continued to impress with two more sacks. This unit continued to improved as the season went on and both Dan BrooksDan Brooks
Assistant Coach / Defensive Line
View Full Profile and Marion HobbyMarion Hobby
Assistant Coach / Defensive Ends
View Full Profile deserve credit for the improvement.
I think defensive coordinator Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
View Full Profile deserves a bunch of credit as well. The game plan was sound and his defense played much better in the second half of the season.
This is the kind of win that we could look back on ten years from now and claim as the major turning point of the program. However we don't know that at this point.
This is the kind of win that could help recruiting this year and beyond but we don't know that at this point.
This win could mean Clemson finishes in the top ten this season and might be a pre-season top ten team next season but we don't know that at this point. There are a lot of things that this win could mean to the future of the program but those are not known yet.
What this win does mean is 11 wins for this team. It was only the fourth time Clemson won 11 games in one season.
This win also means national respect. When you beat a top ten SEC team it means national respect.
Monday night was a great night for Clemson's football program and hopefully the next in long line of great days in the future.
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