Tajh Boyd was a key reason Clemson beat LSU.
Boyd capped off a great 2012 season by leading Clemson to a victory over LSU in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. He finished the night 36 of 50 for 346 yards and two touchdowns.
More importantly, Boyd didn’t turn the ball over, something that has plagued him at times throughout his career.
Boyd rallied Clemson from an 11 point 4th quarter deficit and ended up taking home the trophy for Most Valuable Offensive Player.
Hopkins probably had his best game of the year in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, as he finished the night with 13 receptions for 191 yards and two touchdowns.
Its pretty certain Hopkins performance probably put a few extra zeros on his NFL paycheck as he is certain to go in the first two rounds after dominating an LSU secondary with 13 catches that was considered one of the best in the country.
Brent Venables had his defense ready for LSU.
As I’ve stated previously, the Chick-Fil-A Bowl was probably Venables best performance as Clemson’s defensive coordinator. Venables really turned his defensive line loose as they crushed the pocket all night and sacked LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger six times.
Safe to say Goodman probably raised the eyes of NFL scouts as he had four tackles and three sacks of Zach Mettenberger. Goodman was consistently blowing past LSU’s offensive tackles and causing havoc in the pocket.
If there is a part of the game that needs more work than others, it has to be Clemson’s special teams. Kickoff coverage was horrible for most of the 2012 season and the bowl game was no different. LSU had two big returns which set them up in great field position.
Tackling, much like special teams continues to be a problem for the Tigers. Far too many times in the bowl game and the entire season, Clemson had people in position, but they just can’t wrap up, strike an opponent, and take the opponent to the ground.
Malliciah Goodman finished off his career with a breakout performance.
Players of the game
Tajh Boyd- 36/50 346 yards and two touchdowns. 29 carries, 22 yards, one touchdown
Nuk Hopkins- 13 receptions, 191 yards, two touchdowns
Malliciah Goodman- four total tackles, three sacks, one pass deflection and was a force pushing the pocket all night.
Chandler Catanzaro 2/2 on field goals, did have an extra point blocked, hit game winning 37 yard field goal.
Isaiah Battle (even in limited play, looked pretty solid)