The play, the drive, the win

ATLANTA - Three plays into Clemson's final possession in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, it was almost impossible to imagine that the ACC's Tigers would win.

The drive, which started at the Clemson 20, opened with a rare drop by DeAndre Hopkins.


One play later, running the same route to the same spot in front of the Clemson sideline, Hopkins was targeted again. The play ended with a similar result.

This time, he was draped by LSU cornerback Tharold Simon. An outraged Clemson bench demanded a flag for pass interference, but to no avail. ESPN's Ed Cunningham thought there was a legitimate beef.


Bringing a five-man blitz, LSU collapsed the pocket in front of Boyd, who was sacked by Sam Montgomery as he laid on the ground around the 13-yardline.

Timeout Clemson, fourth-and-16, 1:22 left on the clock.

Boyd targets Hopkins again, this time it's a completion, over the head of All-American safety Eric Reid and in between Simon and Craig Loston.

"That's just a great example of it's never over until it's over," said offensive coordinator Chad Morris. "You have to play the last down out. That's what we told our guys right there… ‘They still have to play this down. We still have a shot here.'

"What a great job by them stepping up, Tajh and Nuk connecting. We knew we had the play before, we just didn't get it off."

As for that magical fourth-down play, it was a simple concept.

"It was a switch play, two seams, but they crossed," Boyd said. "When I walked up to the line, I saw the coverage, saw they had an inside guy, Nuk kind of squirted by, one high [safety].

"Didn't really know he was going to get on top of him like that, but I kind of released it a little bit early. But, being the receiver that he is, he always finds the ball in the air. It was just a ridiculous play."

A ridiculous play that Boyd didn't really see as it happened.

"Some of these guys are 6-5, 6-6, so just hearing the roars of Clemson crowd was a great feeling, a great sound," Boyd said.

First-down at the Clemson 40 and still a little bit of meat left on the bone before they reached Chandler Catanzaro's field goal range.

Along with a pass interference call, Boyd went on to complete four more passes before taking a knee at the LSU 20.

With two seconds left, Catanzaro split the uprights with his 37-yard boot.

Clemson wins, 25-24. Though the two-minute drill wasn't executed to perfection, it was close enough for the orange Tigers.

"For us, 1:39, that's like 10-15 minutes for us. That's what we work on. We pride ourselves on that," Boyd said. "Every Wednesday during the year, we work on the two-minute drill, same situation. So when I saw the clock, 1:39 and [three] timeouts. We've got to go hit it. All I could do was smile. I looked at coach and said, ‘Let's go get it.'"

He added, "It didn't look very promising those first few plays. But, again, sometimes when we're playing against our defense, we may score on the last play. That's just kind of how things work sometimes.

"It was just a special moment, one of those special moments I'm proud to be a part of." Top Stories