LSU bowl X factor

December, 31, 2012
12/31/12
4:30
PM ET
With the Chick-fil-A Bowl a few hours away from kickoff, it's time to look at the key player for LSU as it takes on Clemson:

X FACTOR

Eric Reid, Jr., S: There's no doubt about the offensive talent Clemson has. The Tigers ended the regular season leading the nation with 22 touchdowns of 25 yards or longer. Clemson has scored at least one touchdown of this distance in 11 straight games, including 10 such touchdowns in their last four games, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Quarterback Tajh Boyd has been stellar once again, completing 54.3 percent of his passes thrown 25 yards or longer. He also has the luxury of throwing to DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins, who have combined for 125 catches for 1,922 and 19 touchdowns. That means Reid will have his work cut out for him tonight. He's the safety net for LSU, and Clemson will try to go after LSU's young secondary. Reid has had moments of brilliance this year, but has also been caught looking at times. If he can eliminate the deep ball, or take big plays away from the likes of Hopkins and Watkins, LSU's defense will be in good shape. LSU's secondary gave up multiple passes of 25 yards or more in the final two games of the season, and Boyd, who was second in the ACC in passing will no doubt look to hit the deep ball. Reid has to be able to erase that from Boyd's arsenal inside the Georgia Dome tonight, or LSU's defense will feel the heat.

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