|Clemson-LSU has BCS feel||Tweet|
|by David Hood -- Senior Writer - Monday, December 3, 2012 12:44 PM||
LSU and Clemson each had BCS dreams this season, not only before the start of the season but even in the last few weeks.
Those dreams failed to come true, however, and the two programs will match up on New Year’s Eve in a Chick-fil-A Bowl showdown that doesn’t have BCS implications or the pedigree [even though that pedigree is tainted with schools such as Wisconsin and Northern Illinois earning berths this season] but does have a BCS-type of feel.
Chick-fil-A Bowl President Gary Stokan said that his bowl game – which will be hosting two 10-win teams for the first time in its history – presents one of the best matchups of the bowl season.
“This is kind of an early Christmas present, to open up our packages and see that we have the honor of hosting both Clemson and LSU in the 45th Chick-fil-A Bowl,” Stokan said. “We feel with the matchup that we have, we have one of the top five bowl matchups in the country. This is unique in that we have Death Valley North and Death Valley South.”
The game is a study in contrasts – one team hangs its hat on offense, the other on defense. Clemson is ranked sixth nationally in total offense, while LSU is ranked eighth nationally in total defense.
As Stokan put it later in the call, “Something has to give there.”
LSU’s Les Miles said that both teams have a unique opportunity in that the winner will reach 11 wins this season – something Clemson has achieved on three previous occasions, LSU ten times.
“This is one of the marquee matchups this season,” Miles said during the call. “Both teams are proud of the opportunity to win 11 games and to play a great opponent. We are looking forward to it.”
“The opportunity for an 11th win has not presented itself many times in our history here at Clemson,” Swinney said. “To play a Top 10 team, a national championship-caliber team, in that venue is a special opportunity. I truly believe this is a BCS bowl game here. This is as good a matchup as there is out there. I really believe that. It should be an exciting even for both fan bases.”
Swinney said he is also looking forward to coaching against Miles, who has an 85-20 record at LSU since taking over in 2005.“Coach Miles is a guy I have a lot of respect for, he’s done it right,” Swinney said. “He’s proven to be one of the best coaches in the country, one of the most consistent coaches and programs in the country.”
He then said that LSU’s defenses – typically one of the top in the nation each season – will present its own challenge.
“This defense is built for championships,” Swinney said. “That’s the bottom line. That’s how they’ve recruited. That’s how they’ve developed their depth. It’s just an outstanding group. That front four will be as good as anybody we’ve seen.”
“He’s as talented a quarterback prospect as we’ve faced this season,” Miles said. “He has the ability to extend plays with his feet and then gain ground with his feet. He’s a very talented quarterback. The offense really speaks for him. It does the things that he does well and gets the most out of talent, and his talent is very capable. I see Tajh Boyd as being someone we’re going to have to consider when we get to game-planning, exactly how to contain him.”
|David Hood can be reached at email@example.com||
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