Clemson edges Louisiana State in Chick-fil-A Bowl | College football
Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired to give No. 14 Clemson a 25-24 victory over No. 9 Louisiana State in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
ATLANTA — Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired to give No. 14 Clemson a wild 25-24 victory over No. 9 Louisiana State in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Monday night.
Trailing 24-22, Clemson (11-2) took possession on its 20 with 1:39 remaining. Tajh Boyd completed a pass for 26 yards to DeAndre Hopkins on a fourth-and-16 play during the decisive 10-play drive.
Catanzaro's kick set off a wild celebration on the field and in the stands. Some players collapsed on the field in apparent disbelief while most of Clemson's orange jerseys met in a midfield circle.
"This was a landmark win," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said, referring to his team posting an 11th win for just the fourth time in school history. "When two great teams play it can come down to just a few plays."
Hopkins, who had 13 catches for 191 yards and two touchdowns, also had receptions for 7 and 13 yards in the final drive. LSU safety Greg Reid was flagged for pass interference while defending Hopkins.
Jeremy Hill ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns for LSU (10-3), which carried a 24-13 lead into the final quarter.
After Hopkins' second TD catch, LSU got the ball with 2:43 remaining and threw three straight passes. Only one was complete in the three-and-out series that took only about a minute off the clock, leaving Clemson with enough time for its winning drive against LSU's exhausted defense.
Hill did not have a carry in the fourth quarter. Zach Mettenberger was sacked six times.
"We had to throw the football," LSU coach Les Miles said.
"It's a tough thing to figure our pass protection was as poor as it was. That's the piece that needs fixing and frankly we've got some young players here we'll address and improve and make some strides going forward."
Boyd completed 36 of 50 passes for 346 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He set career highs for attempts and completions while winning the game most valuable player award.
"This Tajh Boyd was phenomenal," Miles said. "I didn't expect his heroic performance in this game."
LSU scored 10 points off Clemson's two lost fumbles, including one by Sammy Watkins on the second play of the game that set up Hill's first touchdown.
Hopkins scored on an 11-yard reception in the second quarter and a 12-yard grab in the fourth. LSU's Bennie Logan blocked Catanzaro's extra-point attempt after Hopkins' first touchdown.
Clemson had a chance to tie the score after Hopkins' second TD, but Boyd's pass for the two-point conversion was incomplete.
Music City Bowl
Vanderbilt 38, N. Carolina St. 24
Jordan Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score as the Commodores (9-4) capped their best season in nearly a century by beating the Wolfpack (7-6) in Nashville, Tenn.
Vanderbilt won its seventh in a row and completed its best season since going 9-1 in 1915.
Vanderbilt forced a season-high five turnovers, including four in the first half, and turned those into 17 points.
Tulsa 31, Iowa St. 17
The Golden Hurricane (11-3) avenged a loss to Iowa State earlier in the season by defeating the Cyclones (6-7) in the rematch on a rainy day in Memphis, Tenn.
Trey Watts rushed for 149 yards and Alex Singleton rushed for three touchdowns. Iowa State beat Tulsa 38-23 on Sept. 1. In the bowl matchup, Tulsa trailed 17-7 after the first quarter.
• Nevada running back Stefphon Jefferson has decided to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft this spring.