Tigers (both of them) arrive for Chick-fil-A Bowl

ATLANTA – The Tigers – LSU’s and Clemson’s – got right to work Wednesday with practice and preparations for the Chick-fil-A Bowl (6:30 p.m. CST, ESPN).

Clemson’s players actually arrived Christmas night for a team meeting, then practiced Wednesday at the Georgia Dome. LSU’s players arrived here Wednesday and also worked out at the site of Monday’s game.

“It’s a great place,” LSU coach Les Miles said Wednesday. “It’s a destination for our guys. We  love being here.”

Miles said a major point of emphasis in practice has been improving LSU’s pass defense.

The Tigers still rank ninth nationally in pass efficiency defense and 19th in pass defense (allowing 194.3 yards per game), but LSU surrendered more than 300 yards passing in each of its last three regular season games (Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Arkansas).

“We recognize this is a great challenge that we’re taking on with this Clemson team,” Miles said, “especially their offense.

“We kind of focused on a couple of key pieces that we needed to have improvement on and felt like improvement was made. We have a good, quality game week here so we feel like that improvement will continue. We threw the ball effectively and wanted to have effect on our secondary and I felt like it happened that way.”

Strong practices will be the key come Monday night, according to Clemson senior tight end Brandon Ford.

“You’ve got two top-15 teams,” Ford said. “You get teams like that, the margin of error is small. The team that executes and prepares will come out on top.”

Both teams will practice at the Georgia Dome again Thursday.