#FlashbackFriday: The play some say started it all (AP Photo)
December 31, 2012……
Both teams entered the game with 10-2 records, with LSU ranked eighth and Clemson ranked fourteenth. It wasn’t the first time these two teams had met in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. They also met in the same bowl game in 1996, when LSU beat Clemson 10–7.
Despite outgaining LSU 445–219, the Tigers trailed for most of the game. Clemson was able to win 25-24 after placekicker Chandler Catanzaro made a 37 yard field goal as time expired, and they did it after star receiver Sammy Watkins went down early on with an injury.
Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd took a beating very few quarterbacks have taken, yet still completed 36 of 50 passes for 346 yards, and earning the game’s MVP award.
DeAndre Hopkins set an ACC record for most consecutive games with a touchdown catch at 10. He also set Chick-Fil-A/Peach Bowl records for receptions and receiving yards (13 receptions, 191 yards).
Clemson set bowl records for most total first downs by one team (32), offensive plays by one team (100), and held LSU to a bowl record low for offensive plays by a team (48). The Clemson defense was able to limit LSU to 9 first downs, sacked LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger 6 times, and limited him to just 120 passing yards.
The game marked LSU’s first loss to an ACC team since 1955, and gave Clemson its first 11 win season since 1981’s national title season.