So who will transform tomorrow with a big performance during bowl season?
All eyes are going to be on Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd to see whether he can get the job done in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31 against LSU, which has one of the best defenses in the nation.
Last time we saw Boyd, he was getting continually harassed in a 27-17 loss to rival South Carolina, going 11-of-24 for 183 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. That was his worst performance of the season. When you look at some of the tougher defenses he has faced overall, Boyd has been inconsistent.
But now is his time to step up his game and prove why he was the coaches' pick as the first-team quarterback on the AFCA All-America team. He knows this, too.
"It’s always exciting when you get a chance to play against a top-tier team," Boyd said on a recent conference call. "You get a chance to go out there and showcase again. We didn’t put our best foot forward in the [South Carolina] game, and it will be nice to end the season with a win. So we’re excited about the opportunity."
Boyd took home both the media and coaches' ACC Player of the Year and overall player of the year awards, and had a great season, throwing for 3,550 yards and 34 touchdowns. He added the running element to his game, with 492 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. There is no question Clemson was better on offense this year than last.
But a good performance in this game -- and ultimately a victory -- would be a huge boost headed into 2013.