Chick-fil-A (Atlanta, Ga.: No. 14 Clemson (10-2) v. No. 9 LSU (10-2), Dec. 31, 7:30 ET
Why To Watch: ACC v. SEC. Death Valley v. Death Valley. Tigers v. Tigers. The only top-15 matchup in the ACC bowl season.
Who To Watch (Bayou Bengals): RB Jeremy Hill – After a midseason loss to Florida, the true frosh Hill took over the crowded LSU backfield, averaging 19.5 carries a game for 93.3 yards with eight touchdowns.
Stat Advantage for Clemson: Passing offense v. LSU’s pass D – The ACC Tigers are 13th nationally in passing offense, armed with Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and Nuk Hopkins, and face a Bayou Bengals defense that’s given up 326.3 yards per passing in their last three contests.
Stat Advantage for LSU: Rush defense v. Clemson’s rush O – LSU has held half its opponents under 100 rushing yards, ranking ninth nationally.
What Happens: Be physical, or as Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables said this week – “pound you into oblivion” – is what the Bayou Bengals aim to do on both sides of the ball, with menacing athletes all over. This is the litmus test for the ACC Tigers’ program at this point – they hung with a solid FSU on the road, but were dominated in their own house by South Carolina. The spotlights in Atlanta will be on Clemson’s lines, getting pressure and holding it off to contain LSU. It goes down to the wire, but the Bayou Bengals are able to make one more play.
A bunch more on the game here on OrangeandWhite.com.
The Picks: Brandon Rink – LSU 27-24; Griffin Wong – LSU 24-17; J.J. Greenstein – LSU 41-28; W. Gustin Vandiford – LSU 27-9.