Clemson and LSU struggling to sell bowl tickets; LSU says Tajh Boyd has a better arm than the Heisman winner
ATLANTA – Plenty of good seats are still available if you would like to spend New Year’s Eve in the Georgia Dome.
Clemson has sold only 9,100 tickets from its 18,000 allotment for Monday’s Chick-fil-A Bowl. LSU has sold 10,500 tickets from its allotment.
Programs are required to buy unsold tickets, though the ACC does reimburse a portion of unsold ticket costs.
ACC associate commissioner Michael Kelly said after a school has met a benchmark of 8,000 tickets sold all 12 ACC members “share the cost of the balance.”
Clemson and LSU are hurt by the secondary ticket market, where fans can buy tickets for less than face value. Tickets are priced at $90 dollars for lower-bowl seats and $80 for upper-bowl seats. At Stubhub.com, tickets to the game could be purchased for $20 Saturday.
Clemson could be headed toward another loss on a bowl trip.
Clemson’s bowl costs ($1.84 million) exceeded its $1.75 million bowl allowance for the Orange Bowl last season. Clemson listed its unsold ticket expense as $323,415 after it sold only 8,500 tickets from its 17,500 allotment for the Orange Bowl.
LSU has faced one other no-huddle, hurry-up offense this season, defeating Texas A & M, 24-19.
Texas A & M totaled 410 yards against LSU and ran for 134 yards, but LSU was more effective in the second half when it began playing six defensive backs. LSU intercepted Texas A & M quarterback Johnny Manziel three times.
Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris has studied the game.
“They were still able to get pressure rushing three,” Morris said. “The biggest thing you see with their defensive front four is it’s not just four guys, they are two deep at every position up front.”
Teams that can pressure with just their defensive fronts - South Carolina, Florida State - have had the most success at slowing the Clemson offense.
Better than Mr. Heisman?:
LSU defensive back Kevin Minter said Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd has a “stronger arm” and is “more accurate” than Manziel, the Heisman Trophy winner.
By the numbers:
Pounds of meat consumed by the teams at a Brazilian steakhouse on Friday: LSU - 624, Clemson - 454.
He said it:
Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables knows what is coming at his defense on Monday night:
“They are not trying to trick you. Their trick play is a play-action pass. (LSU coach Les Miles) wants to pound people into oblivion, that’s a style, culture and philosophy they’ve embraced.”
LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis is regarded as one of the top defensive minds in college football. Chavis has a simple formula for building an elite defense:
“We want to make sure we are very good at corner and defensive end,” Chavis said. “When you have good corners and defensive ends it allows you do a lot of things from a scheme standpoint.”
Chavis’ approach explains why Clemson has struggled defensively. Clemson will be without both of its starting corners again for the bowl game and does not have an impact, three-down defensive end.