The most obvious matchup of strengths Monday night in the Chick-fil-A Bowl will be Clemson's high-scoring spread offense against Louisiana State's defense.
Each unit ranks among the top 10 nationally.
A closer look shows No. 9 LSU's pass defense hasn't been so stingy lately. LSU gave up more than 300 yards passing in three straight wins over Mississippi State, Mississippi and Arkansas to close the regular season. That sets the stage for a tougher test against Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd and receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins.
LSU began November ranked fourth nationally against the pass. It has dropped to 11th — still a strong ranking.
The exposed late-season vulnerability against the pass will be tested by No. 14 Clemson, which ranks sixth in scoring with 42.3 points per game.