by CFP Staff
January 1, 2013
A 37-yard field goal by Chandler Catanzaro as time expired completed Clemson's come-from-behind 25-24 Chick-fil-A Bowl win over LSU on New Year's Eve.
Clemson outgained LSU 169-1 in the fourth quarter and outscored the Bayou Bengals 12-0 in the period.
Clemson trailed 24-13 when the last stanza opened and Catanzaro's 26-yarder made it 24-16. After a 3-and-out on LSU's next series, Tajh Boyd drove Clemson 77 yards in 11 plays and pulled within two on a 12-yard pass down the middle to DeAndre Hopkins with 2:47 left. A failed 2-point conversion kept LSU ahead 24-22.
LSU inexplicably tried to throw passes to convert a 2nd-and-2 and 3rd-and-2 on its ensuing possession, leaving Clemson with 1:39 to work with when it got the ball back at its own 20 after a punt.
Boyd guided Clemson to the LSU 20 in 10 plays to set up the winning kick. The drive included the conversion of a 4th-and-16 from Clemson's own 14 on a 26-yard pass to Hopkins.
Clemson ended the season with victories in 8 of its last 9 games to finish 11-2. It's the first 11-win season for Clemson since the 12-0 national title team of 1981.
It was Clemson's second win over an SEC team in Atlanta this year after opening with a 26-19 win over Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.
LSU dropped to 10-3 with an 8-point loss at Florida, a 4-point home loss to Alabama and the 1-point bowl setback to Clemson. It's the first 3-loss season for LSU since 2009.
The Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com projected Clemson as the winner by 1.13 points.