What we learned
This Chick-fil-A Bowl was billed as a tight matchup coming in, and the last college football game of 2012 turned out to be one of the very best. The loss is painful for LSU, but it was a game that could have turned on one stop by LSU’s defense — or one first down by its offense.
LSU’s offense — or lack thereof. Against a defense that came in allowing 411 yards per game, LSU managed just 219 and had only nine first downs. LSU was outgained 169-1 in the fourth quarter as Clemson stormed back to win. LSU’s offensive line was exceptional most of the season given the injuries it endured, but had a poor final game against a completely unheralded Clemson defensive front.
A 10-win season is by no means a disgrace, but it’s the three losses that this LSU team will be remembered for, three games the Tigers could have won. LSU will still be a national championship contender again next season, but Les Miles needs to take a long, hard look at his offensive philosophy.