5 Thoughts - 2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl

Posted Dec 31, 2008

LSU beats Georgia Tech 38-3... 5 Thoughts on the 2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl

5 Thoughts ... 2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl

LSU 38 ... Georgia Tech 3

GAME RECAP: Jefferson shines for LSU
- 2008 CFN Chick-fil-A Bowl Preview

2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl Player Profiles, Histories, & More

1. I’ll be the first to admit that I did not see this coming. With a true freshman at quarterback and seemingly little motivation to play in a December bowl game, I figured LSU would be a no-show in Atlanta. Oops. The reigning national champs showed everyone that they still have the athletes on both sides of the ball to play like a top 5 team. Go ahead and give an extra helping of credit to Les Miles and his staff for preparing the Tigers like this was a BCS event, and for keeping the players firmly focused on Georgia Tech. Heaven knows, there were about a dozen reasons why this team could have performed as if the season had ended a month ago in Little Rock. - Richard Cirminiello

2. Welcome back, LSU. That was the swagger, the athleticism, and the talent that hadn't shown through all season long. Now come the two big questions: 1) does this mean the team was one of 2009's biggest underachievers, and 2) does this mean the team is back to national title form going into next year? Yes, and maybe. The offensive line didn't play this well all season long, while the defense was disciplined and swarming. With the time to prepare for the option that most teams didn't get, LSU was able to quickly show that the athletes up front were too much for the offense. Yeah the team had injuries, but everyone has injuries. The biggest problem was at quarterback, but the defense should've been able to help pick up the slack a bit more. Going into next year, Jordan Jefferson might seem like the answer under center, but the coaching staff has to quickly figure out if it's going to be that big a slam dunk. Will Andrew Hatch and Jarrett Lee get any real chances to work and win the job? Les Miles has to at least keep the competition open. There's going to be a ton of turnover on both sides of the ball, so to be back to the LSU-level, the quarterback play has to be far, far better. -
Pete Fiutak

3. Virginia Tech won the ACC championship, but Georgia Tech was the league's best team over the course of the regular season. Tonight's result wasn't reflective of the way the Yellow Jackets conducted themselves from September through November. The same could apply to LSU, which will be back to its normal, high-powered self next season with John Chavis around to coach up the defense. What this game did prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that the ACC's haul of 10 bowl teams was far more a sign of mediocrity in the middle, rather than quality depth. Boston College's upset loss to Vandy earlier in the day planted seeds of doubt; this train wreck for the Rambling Wreck confirmed that one of America's six BCS leagues is an Acutely Compromised Collection of football squads. - Matthew Zemek

4. Ryan Perill-who? Okay, it took the entire season, but LSU looks as if it’s on the verge of recovering from the preseason dismissal of its would-be starting quarterback. No, I’m not about to overhype Jordan Jefferson just yet, but it’s hard not to be wowed by the way he conducted himself against a very talented Georgia Tech D. Remember, the kid who completed his first nine passes and didn’t commit a turnover is just that...a kid. That was a true freshman in the Georgia Dome, playing as if he was a third-year starter. He certainly looks the part, and with an entire offseason to digest the system and compete with Jarrett Lee and Andrew Hatch, Jefferson could be the answer to LSU’s question mark at quarterback. - Richard Cirminiello

5. Georgia Tech might have played over its head all year long, and it was obviously overmatched by LSU, but Paul Johnson spent his first year putting square pegs into round holes. Call it a learning experience. This was one of the nation's youngest teams, and now this should be a loaded 2009 team that can take this loss and use it to keep the heads from getting swelled. While wins in bowl games are usually used for positive momentum, for Tech, this loss in this way might be the best thing that could've happened. Winning the ACC title and getting to the BCS is more important than winning the Chick-fil-A Bowl, and now the team has a rallying point. However, for Johnson and his offense, the pressure will be on to produce come next bowl season. One loss like this can be explained away. It won't be so easy to do next year. - Pete Fiutak