Clemson's physical dominance at the end of the Chick-fil-Bowl Bowl caught even the Tigers' fans by surprise.
Clemson's crowd booed during the Tigers' drive for the game-winning field goal, as on play-after-play, LSU players stayed on the ground, forcing a stoppage of play as they were attended by training staff members.
But this was no time-and-breath-saving ploy by coach Les Miles.
The SEC Tigers were done. They knew it, Miles knew it, and Clemson's Tigers knew it.
USA Today's next-day headline declared it: 'Clemson ran LSU ragged.'
"There was no advantage to LSU to lay there on the ground like that," said Miles, who chaffed when asked about the final series during his postgame press conference.
"We were just trying to hold it together until the end," said defensive end Sam Montgomery, a Greenwood, S.C. native and a key player in LSU's pass rush.
After Chandler Catanzaro's game-winning field goal sailed true, Montgomery said he collapsed on the ground.
"When I laid down out there, I was so tired and so hurt," he said. "It's a hard thing on defense to play 100 plays."
Especially when a team's offense mustered just 48 plays, 219 yards and nine first downs.
"The fact that we weren't able to sustain our offense and that our defense had to play so many snaps was tough," said offensive lineman Josh Dworacyzk. "There at the end, our defense was worn out. Our guys just weren't as dynamic as they needed to be, as their receivers were.
"A lot of the time guys went out cramping in situations where we needed them in."
Montgomery said the exhaustion was unexpected, and had very real effects.
"We never expected to be out there so long," said Montgomery. "A lot of guys started to break down. Their bodies started to give out...I wasn’t even expecting to cramp this game. Some got sick. Some got dizzy. I was just like what is going on?"
"Our defense played their butts off," said Miles. "There's young men there that are spent, gave everything they had."