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Last second field goal lifts Clemson over LSU in Chick-fil-A Bowl

Chick-fil-A Bowl - LSU v Clemson Getty Images

Clemson was the butt of the joke after last year’s Orange Bowl.

“West Virginia just scored again.”

That’s what happens when your defense gives up a bowl record 70 points on national television. But in the Chick-fil-A Bowl against LSU nearly one year later, it was Clemson that just scored again. To win. Chandler Catanzaro made a 37-yard field goal as time expired to give No. 14 Clemson a 25-24 victory over No. 9 LSU.

Happy New Year, indeed.

The game-winning opportunity wouldn’t have been possible without a 10-play, 60-yard drive led by quarterback Tajh Boyd with just 1:39 remaining in the game. Facing a 4th-and-16, Boyd connected, as he had 10 times before, with receiver DeAndre Hopkins for 26 yards and a crucial first down. Clemson was given a little bit of help from a pass interference call on LSU safety Eric Reid in the middle of the drive, but that game-winning drive was all Boyd.

There’s no question that the redshirt junior quarterback was the MVP of the game with 339 yards passing and two touchdowns. Boyd also “rushed” 29 times for 22 yards, but as the numbers suggest, Boyd was getting hit in the backfield more than he was running for positive yards. Really, Boyd was getting crushed all night by LSU’s blitzing. He kept getting up each time.

Clemson was able to run 100 plays (to LSU’s 48)  for 437 yards, 96 of which came without star wide receiver Sammy Watkins. The sophomore suffered a right leg injury on just the second play of the game and did not return. Hopkins picked up the slack, like he’s done all year, and finished the game with 13 receptions for 190 yards and on the receiving end of both of Boyd’s passing touchdowns.

The dramatic win — and this was easily the best bowl game of the postseason so far — gives Clemson 11 on the season. It also gives the ACC a huge statement victory over the SEC. There’s no way to explain around it and this was no fluke. Clemson ran twice as many plays as LSU with Hopkins out and LSU knocking Boyd senseless. Clemson showed guts.

Or, as Les Miles puts it, “chest.”

So the Tigers (of Clemson) can enjoy their offseason and bask in the joy of an outstanding win over a great opponent. After the embarrassment of last year’s Orange Bowl, they’ve earned it.

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60 Responses to “Last second field goal lifts Clemson over LSU in Chick-fil-A Bowl”
  1. cometkazie says: Dec 31, 2012 11:52 PM

    Congrats, Clemson, you deserved it.

    Either LSU’s offense stinks or Clemson’s defense is underrated. A Clemson receiver had 190y, almost as much as the LSU offense. 9-3 and outs doesn’t say much for them, either.

  2. jayrandle says: Dec 31, 2012 11:58 PM

    I failed to understand the constant poor clock management by Les Miles…Ole Miss, Tennessee, and tonight vs. Clemson. I thought the first pass play with 3 minutes left was a good call…but 2nd down an especially 3rd down was not good.
    He also the last 30 seconds should have used his last 2 time outs so he can get the ball back.
    Les Miles lost that game. Yes the defense gave up a 4th down but they was worn out by that point because of the constant 3 and outs by the LSU offense.
    Les Mies is constant winner but ask yourself why you never hear his name for the NFL? Because they know he lacks in a creative offense year after year and his poor clock management coach skills.

  3. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Dec 31, 2012 11:58 PM

    Congrats Tigers on a good win!!

  4. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Jan 1, 2013 12:01 AM

    Even though there was a couple of questionable flags against LSU at the end, Clemson however played and executed an awesome game plans. So Congrates

  5. lsuzilla says: Jan 1, 2013 12:03 AM

    Fact is LSU had holes in its defense this year due to injuries. Tonight was no different.

  6. rsmeans says: Jan 1, 2013 12:07 AM

    LSU will never be an elite team next year. They have the worse QB in the country. Not only is he inconsistent and lacking in talent but plain stupid. LSU gets the ball with just over 2 minutes holding a 2 point lead and Zeke the Moran throws three passes and takes up 24 seconds of time instead of running the clock out. Eric Reed is also way overrated but Montgomery and Mingo are awesome. LSU will lose at least 4 games next year and get clobbered by TAM and Alabama.

  7. igottz5onit says: Jan 1, 2013 12:09 AM

    That was the most amazing game I have ever been to. It doesn’t get any better than that if you are a Clemson fan. LSU played a great game and it doesn’t get any closer. All the LSU fans at the stadium were complete class acts as well. GO TIGERS!

  8. larrybrown43 says: Jan 1, 2013 12:26 AM

    I didn’t watch this game. Because… it meant nothing.

  9. normtide says: Jan 1, 2013 12:31 AM

    Great game. LSU was bringing the wood, but Boyd is one tough s.o.b. . Not only did he take all the hits and keep getting up, but he kept his cool. What I saw there was a QB in the zone. My hats off to him. No shame to LSU, they just ran into the one QB in the country that can take that beating. I am not putting this loss on Mettenburger totally, LSU needs to find this team’s stud receiver. In fact, LSU played a good game. I don’t know of another QB that could play thru all those big hits, not off hand.

  10. ttalarico says: Jan 1, 2013 12:35 AM

    It was a great game and both teams played hard. But I can’t stop from pointing out that an ACC team beat a “mighty” SEC team!! An LSU team that should have beat Alabama if LSU didn’t play a prevent defense on Alabama’s last drive.

    Ok SEC fans, start making excuses and tell us why LSU should have beat them by 40 points. I wouldn’t even mention this but everyone (except SEC fans) is so tired of hearing how dominating the SEC is. Enjoy your humble pie.

    Oh yeah, and GO IRISH, roll the Tide!!

  11. rsmeans says: Jan 1, 2013 12:44 AM

    Well that loss does not look good for the SEC but after Alabama destroys ND some luster will come back. Poor ND would be more evenly matched with Georgia Tech who played USC far better. But Bama needs a cheesecake in the NC game and ND is tailor made for that role.

  12. normtide says: Jan 1, 2013 12:46 AM

    Playing connect the dots with football teams don’t work. It is only used to support a weak argument. As Lou Holtz said tonight, everyone hates three SEC, but no one does anything about it, they (usually) don’t beat them. Clemson did, they earned that win. Perception is built over time. The SEC won’t win them all, they usually win most. The Irish will have their shot, I for one am anxious to see how it plays out.

    By your logic, any team that best Pitt in regulation, by a couple touchdowns could beat ND, and that’s ludicrous.

  13. ttalarico says: Jan 1, 2013 1:02 AM

    Don’t get me wrong, the SEC is a excellent conference and ND will have to play its best to beat them. But my point, as illustrated tonight, is they are beatable. Anyone that says Alabama will “destroy” ND and has no doubts, just doesn’t know college football. Or maybe they’re fooling themselves.

  14. rsmeans says: Jan 1, 2013 1:02 AM

    Like many Tide fans maybe you have a reading comprehension problem. That was a joke to a prior ND fans response. However, it was no joke that Alabama will beat ND far more than the 10 point spread. ND does not have the depth, the QB, the secondary or the OL to play Alabama close. Most important Alabama has experience in preparing for these type of games. ND showed a lack of experience in the bowl game gainst FSU last year. You need to learn to use a little logic and how to connect real dots.

  15. gamustangdude says: Jan 1, 2013 1:05 AM


    First of all the SEC still has a total of 9 teams playing bowls. LSU is only one to lose so far. So until the next 7 games are played, you can keep your humble pie comment to yourself. After Bowl season, then we’ll see which way the humble pie will be served.

    Congrats to Clemson, LSU’s defense couldn’t stop Clemson in the end and Clemson deserved to win that game. Good luck to the rest of the SEC teams and GO DAWGS!

  16. domerhomer says: Jan 1, 2013 1:09 AM

    ND matches up well in every possible way with Alabama. The teams are both tough to score on and take care of the ball. The only difference I see is that ND has learned to win this year and don’t give up. Mentally toughness has been key. Good luck Bama! Looking forward to a great game ! Go Irish

  17. normtide says: Jan 1, 2013 1:17 AM

    Was not responding to you rsmeans, don’t usually take your posts seriously.

    Tt- any team is beatable. I expect a great game. I don’t think the Irish can win running the ball. If we do shut down the run, we will start coming at Gholston. There are plays to be made against our secondary, and your offense will depend on his ability to make those plays under pressure. Our offense is pretty balanced, I like to think we can put up at least 21 against a very good defense like ND’s. To me, it comes down to whether your QB(s) can make tight throws under pressure. Waiting to find out is a slow grind.

  18. sanduskyshowerboy says: Jan 1, 2013 1:25 AM

    Lsu got sanduskied

  19. goirishgo says: Jan 1, 2013 1:44 AM


    It is an eternity! Looking forward to a great game.

  20. ttalarico says: Jan 1, 2013 1:59 AM


    I agree with you 100% about our QB. If Golson does not have a good game, it’s going to be a long night. But he has been steadily improving and I think he will be up to the challenge.

    However, I don’t agree with the point total. I think your Tide might score 14, maybe 17 but not 21 pts. I hope I’m right since I don’t see us scoring more than 3 times against your defense.

    It’s been a pleasure talking to someone who knows FB. Are you going to the game? I’ll be sitting in section 121 which I think is on the Bama side.

    Have a happy new year!

  21. irishdodger says: Jan 1, 2013 2:06 AM


    I wonder if UNC, WF, UM, FSU, NCST or Duke fans were chanting tat after the win. No, they weren’t….b/c their team didn’t win….Clemson & Clemson alone won that game.

    Meanwhile, Les Miles continues to compete w/ Mack Brown as which coach does the least w/ the most talent.

  22. barbeaux says: Jan 1, 2013 2:10 AM


  23. tommy57 says: Jan 1, 2013 2:47 AM


    You should probably consider getting some sort of counselling.

  24. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Jan 1, 2013 3:34 AM

    Man, or woman, you crack me up!!! Because LSU lost tonight, according to you, the SEC is not that strong..
    Remembered SBXLIII …. NEW ENGLAND (an undefeated NE, going for the record w Dolphins) …plays against a wild card team, the NEW Giants.
    We all know who won, but does that mean the NGs are a better team than NE patriots?
    Since you claimed that you know and understand football, then why are you even bringing this superiority complex up anywhere.
    No one in the SEC claimed they are unbeatable, nor do we claim that we all the best football conference, no sport writes claimed that for us.
    Clemson vs LSU … Best out of seven for the series… Who would you take?!?
    Same thing w the NE vs NYG SBXLIII !!! Who would take!!

  25. ningenito78 says: Jan 1, 2013 4:00 AM

    It’s a goddamn shame this game wasn’t played on New Years Day. Prime time on NY eve. Clemson was impressive. LSU defense was relentless on Boyd and he answered when he had to. That’s guy could play on my team any day.

  26. alligatorsnapper says: Jan 1, 2013 4:58 AM

    Congratulations on the Clemson Tigers for a well played game and the tenacity and toughness of Boyd who truly earned the MVP.

    On the other hand, Miles had his OC call the offensive plays in the game. That being said, it is the OC that needs to go. Miles will not fire him, but I hope Miles will find him a job somewhere else like he did with Crowton. Get an OC with some imagination and excellence.

    Good game, though, especially from a Clemson perspective.

  27. halbert53 says: Jan 1, 2013 5:47 AM

    Everyone is hyping what a great ACC win vs SEC. Lets see, on this particular night the No. 2 ACC team won by one point against the No. 5 SEC team. Clemson earned the win but its nowhere near like winning against their opposite No. In the SEC.

  28. tg1896 says: Jan 1, 2013 6:33 AM

    Okay all you Bama fans – FOCUS. I know it’s difficult for you to believe, but this is an article about college football that has nothing to do with your school. Your game is next week.

    Congratulations to Clemson AND LSU on one heck of a game. This is what college football should be like.

  29. floridacock says: Jan 1, 2013 7:33 AM

    Miles ultra conservative offense was not able to be bailed out this time by his defense .

  30. jets12 says: Jan 1, 2013 7:52 AM

    Clemson’s win was once again upstaged by the idiotic post game actions and comments of their coach. Does this guy always have to make it about him. He acts like a Pop Warner coach.

  31. kansas525 says: Jan 1, 2013 8:33 AM

    The SEC has been overrated in the polls all year. Not only did LSU lose a couple, but they just barely won over 2 non-fbs schools. And do have an anemic offense. LSU is the only SEC team to lose so far? Well, duh, they have only played 2 games, one against NC State.

    Still trying to figure out how Alabama, whose loss was to the number 9 team is playing for the championship instead of Oregon, whose loss was to the number 7 team. And why number 3 Florida is playing against number 21 while the 4 and 5 teams are playing against each other. Maybe to save the SEC some embarassment. Actually, none of the SEC teams are playing a team ranked higher than them. Good work Bowl selection committee. SAVE the SEC’s reputation.

  32. jets12 says: Jan 1, 2013 8:50 AM

    Actually Notre Dame is ranked higher than Alabama.

  33. thebigtim2012 says: Jan 1, 2013 8:54 AM

    Clemson might have win tonight but they fear the thumb. Hey dabo if USC is in California and “Carolina” is in chapel hill who the hell keeps beating Clemson?

  34. cometkazie says: Jan 1, 2013 9:03 AM

    I have really enjoyed reading the mostly civil comments this morning.

    Bowl games are superfluous and meaningless. It used to be a reward for a team playing well, but we see a team w/o a winning record come in and beat a (formerly) #1 ranked team.

    It’s for the kids.

    I love college football. It’s my favorite sport but I lose interest after the regular season and start paying attention to that other football game.

    If you can’t stop a team from driving the length of the field for a game winning field goal, you don’t deserve to win.

    Ain’t the game grand?

  35. madtownthrowdown says: Jan 1, 2013 9:55 AM

    The powerful SEC goes down! Boom!!! That’s 1

  36. madtownthrowdown says: Jan 1, 2013 10:02 AM


    Yes the #5 and higher ranked SEC team. If your theory is correct then why was LSU ranked to high? Are you saying the SEC is overrated?

  37. harbourimages says: Jan 1, 2013 10:05 AM

    JayRandall is right about Miles lack of clock management skills. What idiot throws the ball three times when you’re trying to run the clock? That’s insane! Run the clock down to 1 second, then snap it and run it. Three times. Then punt. You don’t throw incompletions to stop the clock. BIGGGGGGG duh!!!!!!!!!! He’s the “MAD” Hatter alright. As in NUTS! Sure glad he didn’t come to Michigan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. ttalarico says: Jan 1, 2013 10:33 AM


    Bottom line!

    Bowl games are not the best of seven. Now who won the game last night? Oh, I remember.

  39. thefiesty1 says: Jan 1, 2013 11:01 AM

    Best bowl game this year. Remaining games this bowl season will pale in comparison. Even the NC game.

  40. BrownsTown says: Jan 1, 2013 11:27 AM

    Tough year for the SEC. First, Bama loses to a Big 12 school and now the ACC takes out another SEC vanguard.

    At least Vandy is propping up the conference this year.

    “ACC! ACC! ACC!”

  41. BrownsTown says: Jan 1, 2013 11:30 AM

    “Yes the #5 and higher ranked SEC team. If your theory is correct then why was LSU ranked to high? Are you saying the SEC is overrated?”

    Ha……exactly. But I’m sure the SEC water carriers at ESPN will still rank LSU in their top 10.

  42. showtime1911 says: Jan 1, 2013 11:40 AM

    Way to go Clemson. Should boyd go pro. One powerhouse sec team down and the crawling tide is next. Lets go fighting Irish of Notre Dame. May the legend of Rudy live. Win this game for the underdogs of society.

  43. asseenonokra says: Jan 1, 2013 11:40 AM


    Roll Tide

  44. melikefootball says: Jan 1, 2013 12:28 PM

    Was nice watching the thugs of LSU hanging their heads. For a top notch program LSU players have no clue of sportsmanship on the field. Surprised that the NCAA does not stop these type action in all college football.

  45. tide4life says: Jan 1, 2013 12:30 PM

    That was a bitchin game. Living in Upstate SC as I do, wearing my Tide gear always attracts comments, usually of a negative nature. I have tried all year not to make snotty comments about, you know, last year. Swinney’s dumbass trash talk before the WV game said it more eloguently than I could. Right up to kick-off, I would’ve bet large against Clemson.
    And lost it all. That was a Clemson team that I haven’t seen all year.
    Great Teams!
    Great Game!
    Great Win!

  46. goodfieldnohit says: Jan 1, 2013 12:31 PM

    Dummy Les Miles reared his ugly head again. Throwing on 2nd and 3rd and two, when a first down would have forced Clemson to use timeouts, cost LSU the game. #SMH

    Congrats to Clemson though, they kept battling, and they deserved to win.

  47. materialman80 says: Jan 1, 2013 12:46 PM

    As a fan of LSU I have to say this game again showed Les Miles did not have the team ready to compete on the last game of the season. After last season and that disaster, we have to live with this. Sad doesn’t really cover it. Mettenberger proved he is not the answer at quarterback this season, no question. It’s hard to accept an ACC team did this to LSU, but there is no question, we were outcoached and their boys played with alot more heart then ours. LSU has some soul searching to do. This is the second season in a row we end on a pitiful note.

  48. normtide says: Jan 1, 2013 2:17 PM

    Tt- I have some personal business that will keep me from going to Miami. Had planned to at least make the Bama bowl party down there. On our discussion, I think Bama will need 21 to win, so it seems we assess the game much the same. Best of luck, the anticipation is killing me.

  49. florida727 says: Jan 1, 2013 8:44 PM

    Condolences to my #southernpatriots friends and all LSU faithful. I’m usually very respectful of Les Miles because I know he’s done so much good for his team and the Baton Rouge community that extends way beyond the football field, but I think he messed this one up at the end. By throwing instead of running and NOT forcing Clemson to use their timeouts, he played right into their hands. Then again, if Mettenberger doesn’t overthrow a short pass in the flat, maybe it’s a different outcome. Either way, best bowl game of the year to-date. Like Les said post-game, to have it come down to a last-second field goal after facing 100+ offensive plays by Clemson, LSU has nothing to hang their heads about. They represented the SEC extremely well.

  50. florida727 says: Jan 1, 2013 8:48 PM

    #BrownsTown, just curious, which ACC team is it again that’s playing for the national championship? Refrsh my memory too if you would, which teams from the ACC won the last SIX national championships? Sorry, I’m just drawing a blank at the moment.

  51. cowboycjn says: Jan 2, 2013 8:33 AM

    Fully agree with you.
    – – – – – –
    cometkazie says:Jan 1, 2013 9:03 AM
    Bowl games are superfluous and meaningless. It used to be a reward for a team playing well, but we see a team w/o a winning record come in and beat a (formerly) #1 ranked team.
    – – – – – – –
    It used to be bowl games were intended for the strong finishing teams, ranked #3, 4, 5, BUT now they have so many bowl games and teams with loosing records are playing- WTF?? Teams that have higher loss games than win games should NOT be playing in a bowl game. I mean we have the Pinstripe bowl, the Potatoe bowl, come on its just a money thing not a sports event anymore.

    As for LSU – they threw that game away. What team leading by 2 points (instead of burning the clock) passes and gives the ball back to the opposing team?? Sort of like it was fixed to let certain teams win to stir up controversay among ACC, SEC, and all others. Other than the main Oldies i.e. – Sugar bowl, Cotton bowl, Rose bowl – all those other made up dumb bowls are useless.

  52. suprmous says: Jan 3, 2013 1:55 AM

    Once again I see rs “can’t tell his ass from a hole in the ground”means has come on here to spit his usual garbage out. Don’t you ever learn that you’re just a “tad” off in your thinking and suffer from a hellva case of Insert Foot in Mouth Disease? Your lack of knowledge about LSU’s program is quite evident and quite frankly even if you’d gone to LSU you probably would’ve slept thru class or been trying to find a way to argue with the instructor. So give it a rest and crawl over to somebody else’s corner of the pages of another blog and spout your nonsense off because clearly you’re wasting your time and energy in saying nothing productive over here.

  53. suprmous says: Jan 3, 2013 1:59 AM

    flordia727, as one of those faithful I’ll take your sympathy but will add maybe this year will be better for all of us. Who knows what will come off that clipboard in the way of plays and from upstairs from the DC? Lets just hope everybody stays healthy as well.

  54. txnative61 says: Jan 3, 2013 3:35 AM

    You know I really like watching SEC football. Florida just got schooled by Big Least champ Louisville and mannnn! The SEC needs to take all those trophy’s out of their pockets and show up ready to play in Bowl games. It shouldn’t be this close, LSU saved their best game for Bama with more to play for, then didn’t.

  55. ttalarico says: Jan 3, 2013 10:11 AM

    OK SEC fans, where are you now? 3-3 with their latest loss to #21 Louisville. Mighty #3 Florida fell. Typical Florida however. How many unsportsmanlike penalties did Florida receive? Lots of talent but as usual, no discipline.

  56. sssjim7 says: Jan 5, 2013 9:04 AM

    Congratulations Clemson… you sure made us feel better this year than last year… whew!

    Lots of “what ifs’, but bottom line is we will take it!

    Just my .02

  57. waynefontes says: Jan 6, 2013 10:18 AM

    ttalarico says:
    Jan 3, 2013 10:11 AM
    OK SEC fans, where are you now? 3-3 with their latest loss to #21 Louisville. Mighty #3 Florida fell. Typical Florida however. How many unsportsmanlike penalties did Florida receive? Lots of talent but as usual, no discipline

    5-3 with a chance of going 6-3 and winning a 7th consecutive national championship.

    The SEC isn’t invincible. But it is the best conference in college football. If you disagree, that’s your opinion.

    But who is better? The Big 12? The Big 10? The Pac 12? ACC? Big East? I didn’t think so.

    So, who are you a fan of ttalarico?

  58. ttalarico says: Jan 7, 2013 12:27 AM

    Go Irish!

    I’m in Miami tonight waiting anxiously for tomorrow’s game. As I said in earlier posts, I respect the SEC and especially your new addition Texas A &M! I’m glad we don’t have to play them tomorrow as I think they’re the best team in the SEC right now. It’s amazing how someone from a lesser conference can enter the SEC and tear apart the defending National Champions.

    I hope the Irish can do the same.

  59. ttalarico says: Jan 7, 2013 12:28 AM

    And on their own field no less!

  60. cometkazie says: Jan 7, 2013 8:06 AM

    ttalarico says:
    Jan 7, 2013 12:28 AM
    And on their own field no less!
    Interesting, but the Tigers didn’t beat the Tide at home during the seventies, eighties, and nineties, it was always in Alabama.

    I don’t think the Aggies exactly tore them apart.

    I hope you have a great and safe day!

    Ain’t college football grand?!?!?!

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