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2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl: LSU defense a still test for Clemson offense

The New Year's Eve bowl game will feature a matchup of strength on strength.

Joshua S. Kelly-US PRESSWIRE

Much of the intrigue surrounding the 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl comes from the matchup of the LSU defense and Clemson offense.

Under Les Miles, LSU has become a perennial defensive power, with future NFL players on all three levels of the defense. 2012 was no different, as the Tigers gave up only 16.9 points a game, 11th-best in the country.

Clemson, on the other hand, has one of the most explosive offenses in the country. They've got a fleet of playmakers -- WR Sammy Watkins, WR DeAndre Hopkins and RB Wayne Ellington -- that would be the envy of anyone in the SEC.

Perhaps the key to the game will be the play of junior Clemson QB Tajh Boyd, who has put up impressive statistics this season -- 3,350 passing yards, 34 TDs and 13 INTs with a 66.4 percent completion percentage. However, he's coming off a sub-par showing against South Carolina, where he threw two interceptions as the Gamecocks held the Tigers' offense in check.

The ACC doesn't get much national exposure, so the game in Atlanta will be a golden opportunity for Boyd and the Clemson offense to make a statement headed into 2013.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.