Kickoff: Monday, Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN) at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta
Spread: LSU by 4
Watchability: Clemson has the sixth-best scoring offense in the country and LSU has the 11th best scoring defense. Something's got to give.
Shining stars: Clemson -- QB Tajh Boyd. The ACC Player of the Year set a conference record for TD responsibility (43) and tied the mark for passing TDs (34). LSU – S Eric Reid. A consensus first-team All American, Reid had six pass breakups, two interceptions and 81 tackles.
Who could steal the show: Clemson – WR DeAndre Hopkins was second in the nation with 16 touchdown receptions. He needs six yards to set a single-season Clemson record for receiving yards. LSU -- LB Kevin Minter. With 13.5 tackles for loss and a team-high 111 tackles, Minter was the key component of one of the country's best defenses.
Magic number for Clemson: 25. That's how many points Clemson needs to set the ACC record for most points in a season, passing the 1995 Florida State Seminoles, who scored 532. The Tigers also need 369 yards to break the 2000 Seminoles' ACC record for yardage (6,588).
Magic number for LSU: 22. LSU has allowed 22 points in a game just once this year and allows just 16.9 points per game. LSU also has 22 bowl wins in program history, tied for ninth-best all time.
3 keys to a Clemson win
- Take chances: Clemson leads the nation in fourth-down conversion rate. The Tigers were successful on 13 of their 15 attempts on fourth-down. Coach Dabo Swinney may need to roll the dice and leave the offense on the field when the LSU defense manages to stall a key drive.
- Step up on defense: The battle between the Clemson offense and LSU defense is getting the attention, but the game might be decided when LSU has the ball. The Clemson defense has given up big plays all year long. They'll need to avoid giving up the easy points to LSU.
- Avoid turnovers: LSU is eighth in the nation in turnover margin, gaining 1.3 more per game than its opponents. LSU's 31 takeaways are also eighth best in the country.
3 keys to an LSU win
- Pressure Boyd: Hopkins and fellow WR Sammy Watkins will test even the best pass defenses. The key to keeping them out of the end zone will be to make sure Boyd doesn't have enough time to find them. LSU averages 2.5 sacks per game, but it will need to bring down Boyd more than that.
- Score points: LSU has scored fewer than 25 points in five of its last seven games. Clemson has scored less than 25 just once this season. The more points LSU's offense scores, the less pressure it places on its defense.
- Control the clock: As good as LSU's defense has been, the less time Boyd and the Clemson offense have the ball, the better. LSU controls the ball more than 31 minutes a game, which ranked 31st in the country.
Prediction: Clemson 24, LSU 21
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from ACC bloggers Shawn Krest and Sean Bielawski, follow @CBSSportsACC.