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College football: LSU's defense to test Tajh Boyd, Clemson offense in Chick-fil-A Bowl
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Atlanta • Tajh Boyd said it.

So did his coach.

Monday night's Chick-fil-A Bowl against LSU is a prime-time national stage for Boyd and Clemson's high-scoring offense.

His coaches and teammates see Boyd as the player destined to grab the bowl spotlight. The dual-threat quarterback led No. 14 Clemson (10-2) with 34 touchdown passes to tie Philip Rivers' Atlantic Coast Conference single-season record. He was honored as ACC player of the year.

A win over No. 9 LSU (10-2), one of the powerful Southeastern Conference's biggest names known for its strong defense, would be a big step for Boyd. It also could be the perfect setup for Clemson's 2013 season.

LSU ranks eighth in the nation in total defense and 11th in points allowed.

Boyd, a junior, could be playing his final college game. But he sounded as though he was making plans to return when he said this week the program "is on the verge of something great" and "we want a national championship; it's in sight."

Clemson needs to score 25 points against LSU to become the most prolific offense in ACC history. Boyd has led Clemson to 37 points or more in 10 of 12 games.

"We want to be the most explosive offense in the country," Boyd said. "There's no better stage for that other than the one we're on right now, one of the best bowl games out there going against one of the best defenses."

Clemson offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Chad Morris also spoke of the game as a chance for the nation to witness Boyd's brilliance.

"It's the stage that he's been looking for, and you can't ask for anything better than this," Morris said. There will be no other bowl competing for the nation's attention when the Tigers from the SEC and the Tigers from the ACC play in the Georgia Dome. —

Chick-fil-A Bowl

O LSU vs. Clemson

• Monday, 5:30 p.m., ESPN

Quarterback with 34 TD passes on season faces big challenge.
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