It’s a bayou Tiger versus a lowlands Tiger and they got their nicknames in completely different ways. The LSU tigers chose their name because of the infantry that fought for General Robert E. Lee during during the Civil War and they became known as the “Tiger Rifles”. The Clemson Tigers got their name simply because Walter Riggs, who was the head football coach in 1896 simply admired the Princeton Tigers and therefor named his team the same.
These two teams have been on a collision course for a couple years now and there have just been a few bumps in the road preventing it. Defending conference champs in their conferences, neither played for one this season which allowed them to finally be paired in this bowl game, could be the best match-up this year.
The Les Miles led Tigers, which will have their coach until they so choose, were hoping to play for another national title this season and the sole reason they didn’t may be due to losing one of the best players in the country. Tyrann Mathieu will be entering the NFL draft after sitting out a season due to suspension by the school, and it left a crater in the LSU defense that caused problems early on.
Playmakers: QB Zach Mettenberger played as well as he could in the match-up with Alabama and had them in position to win the game. He just had to sit back and watch as the season going down the drains unfolded. He has a good argument for being a leader and he’s shown poise of late. Having a pretty good season statistically the one area of concern headed into this game is the number of sacks that he has taken over the season, 26 sacks in all for over 200 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball it’s a tie for best playmaker this season. After losing a surefire heisman candidate for the season due to off field issues, the defense could have folded. It didn’t and thats mostly because Les Miles cupboard is not bare on that side of the ball. DE Barkevious Mingo and S Craig Loston have stepped up their game this season and have led the Tigers to success on defense. Mingo is a disruptor who gets after the QB and Loston has three INT’s for 103 yards and a TD.
Season High – Low: It’s simple for the bayou Bengals, they wanted it all. Les Miles has had them in a position to win it two seasons in a row now and has lost to what will be the back to back champions and Florida. That’s it. They compete at a high level and as a team aren’t very happy about playing in this game, but it is what it is and they have a hungry Clemson team wanting to climb the ladder. Read More