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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Leading up to the Chick-fil-A Bowl, we'll take a daily look at a key LSU player. We'll examine how he has done and what his challenges are for the Clemson game.
P.J. Lonergan, C, Senior
Accomplishments: A three-year starter at center, Lonergan is the heart of an offensive line that overachieved after being down three starters for the second half of the season. He learned the position after arriving at LSU (he was a high school tackle at Archbishop Rummel High in suburban New Orleans) and he has turned himself into a technician who calls the blocking assignments and helps get the young line pointed in the right directions.
Shortcomings: Lonergan has had a solid, if unspectacular career. If there is any one factor that has held him back, it's been a sometimes troublesome back. He missed one start this season, giving way to his heir apparent, Elliott Porter, for a game while he rested his back (he did play some that game). He's not quite Barrett Jones, the celebrated Outland Trophy winner at Alabama, but there's little for LSU to complain about from its steady senior.
Against Clemson: Playing against an ACC opponent, LSU will undoubtedly try to impose its "SEC dominance" in terms of physical play. Look for the Bayou Bengals to test the middle of the Clemson defensive front with its physical, SEC running game against a Clemson defense that allows 4.2 yards per carry. Lonergan will be right in the middle of that scrum, getting his hands dirty in what will be his last college game.