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Predictions 101 — Chick-fil-A Bowl

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No. 9 LSU vs. No. 14 Clemson
Mon., Dec. 31 – 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Atlanta – Georgia Dome

Tigers, Tigers, burning bright. It’s one of the better Chick-fil-A Bowl matchups in recent memory. Somebody will celebrate the New Year with an 11-victory season.

The Clemson offense vs. the LSU defense is a compelling storyline. Clemson QB Tajh Boyd and WR DeAndre Hopkins are a dynamic combination, along with WR Sammy Watkins, who has attracted extra attention after last season’s freshman breakout.

The offensive line of Clemson (10-2) will have quite a chore blocking LSU (10-2). Certainly, Clemson wants to play a sound game and erase last season’s Orange Bowl slaughter (West Virginia 70, Clemson 33).

But it won’t be easy. LSU is 5-0 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, a statistic that might not mean very much. The last two appearances, though, produced a combined 78-6 margin (against Miami and Georgia Tech). Look for LSU to emerge with its seventh 11-win season.

Opening point spread: LSU by 3

The pick: LSU 30, Clemson 20

Click HERE to get predictions for the remaining bowl games.

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24 Responses to “Predictions 101 — Chick-fil-A Bowl”
  1. southernpatriots says: Dec 5, 2012 3:53 PM

    It will be a stellar night for Zach Mettenberger who has progressed all season, along with the patchwork LSU offensive line which came of age in the South Carolina game. Moments before the season started LSU lost its most famous player, and Heisman nominee, to his stupidity. During the season had a large amount of starting and veteran players go out due to injury.

    Some players have healed and will return for this game. LSU’s offense will be balanced and has a run game which will run through Clemson, and a depth at positions which will bring a dominance by the 4th quarter. Another good bowl game for LSU and another 11 win season, a good send off for next season.

    If Clemson found South Carolina more than they could handle, they won’t like the LSU defense and special teams. Boyd will be running and/or on his back side with Mongomery, Minter, and Mongo harrassing him and the RBs all night. Minter with 16 – 18 tackles. Records set for Chick Fil-A Bowl.

    LSU 45 – 17

  2. alligatorsnapper says: Dec 5, 2012 3:57 PM

    southernpatriots: You beat me to this one. I was looking for it, looking for it, and finally Joey got it out to us. If you are right about the players’ mending, it will be a good one for LSU. Good thoughts about the common opponent Gamecocks. Wish it was the Cotton, I would be there but not able to travel to Atlanta this year.

    If LSU’s defense shows up healthy and the OL continues the way it has been the past few games, and if Mett and his receivers are on the same page, it will be good one.

    Bengal Tigers, big win!

  3. jonkybon says: Dec 5, 2012 4:16 PM

    You might also consider the other common opponant Auburn…

    LSU barely squeeked out a 2 point win against the war eagles, while Clemson statistically thrashed them despite only a 7 point victory.

    LSU is still a great team, but not what they were the last two years. They can be beat. Just look at their last two games; Ole Miss and Ark both nearly beat them. Towson lead in the middle of the third.

    There is a reason this game opened at Clemson +4.5 and has dropped to 4.

  4. barbeaux says: Dec 5, 2012 4:48 PM

    It depends on if LSU plays down to their opponent. They’ve done that a bit this year.

  5. bstras2809 says: Dec 5, 2012 5:08 PM

    Clemson will be tough if their secondary can stop the deep ball. Sure the LSU Dline will get their shots on Boyd but the boys from the real Death Valley have a couple good backs in Ellington and McDowell. If the Clemson Oline gets physical, it’ll be a close one. 27-24 Clemson.

  6. Deb says: Dec 5, 2012 5:18 PM

    I have a soft spot for Clemson because Dabo lived next to my brother when he was an assistant with the Tide. But I lean toward southernpatriots’ view on this one. LSU’s close match with Auburn seems like a long, long time ago. The Bayou Bengals finished the season strong, and while these teams may seem close on paper, I don’t think Clemson will be a real match for Les’s guys. Looking forward to the game, but will be surprised if it’s still a contest after the first half.

  7. cometkazie says: Dec 5, 2012 6:58 PM

    College teams change during the year. Kids mature; injuries happen; they play better together.

    There are intangibles.

    I wonder how many Katrina refugees are still in Atlanta?

  8. jets12 says: Dec 5, 2012 7:00 PM

    Nice try again Jonkybon. You really take a pill when it comes to Clemson don’t you. Lets compare the two teams most impressive win this year. For Clemson that would be, let’s see, oh yeah Ball State. Okay I guess we can stop now.

  9. rolltide510 says: Dec 5, 2012 7:08 PM

    Should be a great game. LSU’s offensive line coach should get the Broyles Award for the way that patchwork unit overachieved this year.

  10. tigersgeaux says: Dec 5, 2012 7:47 PM


    You are right about the patchwork OL. Josh Dworaczyk should get an award for the job he did on Clowney of the Gamecocks! I think the
    Alabama OC will get the Broyles Award, in reality. Thanks for the vote, though.

    Jonkybon must be on meds or need them.

    Clemson played Auburn at in Atlanta winning 26-19. LSU played Auburn at Jordan-Hare, moments after their student-coach passed and the players said they were playing the game under great inspiration and motivation for him. LSU played without many veteran players due to injury.

    Clemson lost to South Carolina at Death Valley, Clemson 17 -27. LSU beat South Carolina at Death Valley, Tiger Stadium, LSU.

    All that doesn’t affect this Chick Fil A Bowl game. LSU will be there to play. Mett will be on target. LSU’s RB group is ready to run. Stop one, they have another, stop that one, they have another and all with different running styles and strengths.

    Will be a good game and will result in LSU winning going away.

  11. imaduffer says: Dec 5, 2012 7:54 PM

    LSU will show up out of shape and lose by 20. Just like last year, they will be unprepared.

  12. tigersgeaux says: Dec 5, 2012 8:37 PM

    Yeah, and Clemson is Alabama. How dumb!

  13. thegamecocker says: Dec 5, 2012 10:01 PM


    Oh, hey Jonkybon! I see other folks have mentioned you not taking your meds. Not wise son…..not wise at all! Even The Head Ball Coach indicated there is the original Death Valley in Baton Rouge and then there is Death Valley at Clemson. If you thought the Gamecock “D” held y’all down, wait til LSU gets hold of the slimmed-down Tajh Boyd – First Team All-American QB. At least one good thing about this matchup: Clemson won’t be playing West Virginia who put up a RECORD 70 on Clemson in last year’s BCS Orange Ball! That was embarrassing Jonky….but not as disappointing as losing for the FOURTH YEAR IN A ROW BY THE FIGHTING GAMECOCKS!!! Take the meds son…you remember the movie “A Beautiful Mind” about the Princeton U. professor who was schizophrenic but overcame it to win a Nobel Prize? Well, that’s NOT YOU!! You’re just schizophrenic!

  14. suprmous says: Dec 6, 2012 4:07 AM

    Oh great swami tigersgeaux, sistah you best better keep on preachin de sermon of all the positive things LSU be doin; hahahaha. Can’t see anything but LSU winnin. Cometkazie, I know of one Katrina refugee still in Atlanta. Dat crazy fool goes to the Falcons’ game in full Saints’ gear and what time he can he’s constantly singin both LSU’s fight song and When the Saints Come Marchin in. But he says really ticks off the folks there is when he goes by GGs and gets his food to eat and they wanna know what he’s got. He politely tells em if he told em they’d leave and go get some and miss the game. He said the last time he took Jambalya he had to fight off at least 5 before he could get the first bite. Southernpatriots, he said now that GG’s up there they don’t want her to leave. I wonder why that be,hahahaha.

  15. jonkybon says: Dec 6, 2012 8:49 AM


    I really don’t care how many names you post under to agree with your bipolar self.

    History lesson for you even though I know you aren’t bright enough to understand.

    Clemson was called Death Valley twenty plus years before LSU was called Deaf Valley. A TV commentator screwed it up an stated calling Deaf Valley, Death Valley. Clemson was called Death Valley when their first coach Johnson, brought a large rock (Howard’s rock) back from the National Park in Cal.

    Which BCS team has the fewest titles over the last 25 years? 50 years? 100 years? Hint: It’s the same school that is on probation for the second time in the last seven years and has had more felony charges over the last four and arrests over the same time period…
    You guessed it!!! The South Carolina Shamecocks lead by the Ole Ball Sack himself!!!

  16. jonkybon says: Dec 6, 2012 9:01 AM

    I would those not named Cocksuckers or many alternate screen names to think about something…

    #9 Clemson opened as a 4 point favorite against SC. By gametime so much money was bet on Clemson that the spread became 6.5.

    If they won, Clemson was a lock for the Sugar Bowl.

    Before the game, a representative from the Chick-fil-A bowl was introduced. No one from the Sugar Bowl, Outhouse Bowl (only place the Jailcocks could get a bid), or any other Bowl was present or introduced.

    Clemson dominated play in the first half.

    SC was given three first downs on extremely questionable penalties in the second half, that weren’t called the same both ways. Spurrier was between the hash marks twice (including a fourth down play) with the game clock running with no call. The Lamecock coaches spent more time on the field then their players (no call).

  17. thegamecocker says: Dec 6, 2012 9:12 AM


    OMG son, you’re resorting to attacking me by adding words to the end of my username. I won’t employ those kind of tactics because we both know you are sick and in need of help. Bringing this back to reality, it’ll be fun to see how Clemson performs against LSU. All those weapons guided by an All-AmericaQB; a solid running game with Andre Ellington; then the two all-world wideouts. Man I feel sorry for LSU….what are they going to do? How can LSU POSSIBLY stop that juggernaut? LOL. Two College World Series NC back-to-back and almost a third; 4 straight wins over the school you root for; knocking Clemson out of a BCS game; son, take the Zoloft or Prozac, whichever your witchdoctor prescribes. Oh I see the Tiger’s beat Frank Martin’s club. Enjoy it b/c when he has a full year to recruit, we will dominate Clemson in that sport also. You see, I can be fair and balanced! Later Tiger!

  18. jets12 says: Dec 6, 2012 1:51 PM

    Jonkybon how many excuses are you going to come up with? Fact is those Gamecocks beat your overrated tigers with a backup quarterback, running back and left tackle. Your pathetic comments are boring and stupid. Your credibility is worth about as much as your tigers have been against the Gamecocks the last four years.

  19. igottz5onit says: Dec 7, 2012 5:28 PM

    Usually I agree with you Jonky but you lost me with that peach bowl conspiracy theory argument. Nope Clemson lost fair and square to South Carolina unfortunately. Are they a better team? Maybe. Were they the better team that day? The scoreboard says yes and that’s all that matters. I do think this will be a great game though

    My prediction-
    Clemson 35
    LSU 31

  20. mrba4775 says: Dec 8, 2012 12:25 AM

    for all u lsu fans u must b out of ur minds. i watch the tigers this season, they are over hyped, the was actually covering the spread 5-7, this season. mettenberger was supposed to be mett-siah, ended up being the statue of liberty, continued to overthrow his receivers on the deep ball, did not have any touch on his intermediate passes. Also mettenberger looked shaking in the pocket when the pressured up the midde. mettenberger could not feel the pressure of the rush, an become rattled, therefore an easy sack. with lsu’s patchwork OL, mettenberger lack of reading defenses will cause either a turnover or a fumble in the backfield, because he (mettenberger holds the ball too long and does not have a quick release). Therefore, the clemson tigers can put 8 in the box to top the run, causing lsu tigers to become one-dimensional, clemson tiger’s offense will win the line of scrimmage against lsu’s defensive front an with lsu tiger giving up turnovers (fumbles & interceptions), the clemson tigers blow-out lsu tigers spoiling les miles dreams of going 11-1. Clemson 38, LSU 14. Enough said

  21. jets12 says: Dec 8, 2012 7:06 AM

    Not sure what you said but I’m sure you meant well.

  22. tigersgeaux says: Dec 8, 2012 7:46 AM


    Witty and funny! Kudos! Thank you.

  23. thegamecocker says: Dec 8, 2012 9:54 AM


    You are a fair and balanced poster. Thank-you. The Fighting Gamecocks were the better team up at Death Valley that night.


    Are you kidding me? Son, the offensive AND defensive lines at LSU are SUPERIOR to those at Clemson. The LSU 2nd team is better than Clemson’s 1st team! I agree Mettenberger isn’t a great QB like Tajh Boyd, but he doesn’t have to be! The time he will receive and the holes the LSU O-line will open will be plenty enough to win this game handily. And the two running backs LSU has are awesome talents. Nah, LSU will win time of possession keeping the Clemson offense watching from the sidelines. Then LSU’s defense will take the field. And if you think Carolina’s defense was good, on BALANCE LSU’s is better because their defensive backs are great. You’re lucky West Va. isn’t playing you b/c they’d put another 70 on the board. LSU will keep the score respectable on your end. They let Towson”hang-out” in Death Valley to make it more of a “pleasure trip” for them.

    Hey, are you Jonkybon posting as someone else? I don’t mean to insult you….just wonderin’.

  24. mrba4775 says: Dec 11, 2012 9:20 PM

    this is what I meant. the clemson tigers will upset the hyped up lsu tigers. the lsu tigers only covered the spread 5 times, losing 7 times. With all the hype on the so- call messiah-“zach mettenberger”, did not happen, it took mettenberger, 9 games to learn the speed of the SEC. Actually the only time,”mett-ssiah” looke anything like he was hyped up to be by coach miles was in the alabama game, after that game “mett-ssiah” return to his form of being clueless of the pass rush, a setting duck in the pocket when rushed up the middle, continue to overthrow his receivers on the deep ball an intermeditate routes. suspect to turnovers an interceptions. Zach is nowhere near Andrew Luck status. I don’t think Zach will ever be on the same level as Luck. Anyway, back to the bowl game, Boyd will be the better qb an will have the better game. Clemson 38, LSU 14. LSU was lucky to win 10 games this season. Zach Mettenberger is not the Top prospect all the so-call experts think. I see Mettenberger throwing atleast 3 interceptions, an a fumble on a sack, the guy can’t read defenses an does not have pocket awarness.

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