Here’s a couple quick thoughts on the Tigers’ win on the road against Texas A&M.
What it means: LSU moves to 7-1 and 3-1 in the conference, and they still remain in contention with only one loss in the conference. Texas A&M falls to 5-2 and 2-2 in the conference, seemingly dropping them out as a contender in the West with Alabama still remaining on the schedule. Going in, we knew both teams matched up particularly well, but the team with the better defense and running game ultimately pulled it out on the road, aided by four turnovers.
What I liked: LSU started slow, offensively and defensively, for the 11 AM start time. It’s tough on players to play the early game because it gets them out of their normal routine. And right on cue, it took LSU a quarter and a half to wake up on both sides of the ball. After TAMU took a 12-0 lead, LSU stormed back with two touchdowns – off two Aggie turnovers – just before halftime. In addition, I liked the way LSU opened up the passing game after the first couple of drives. It loosened up the Aggies’ run defense and gave the offense a boost. LSU finished with 219 rushing yards, and it ultimately led to the road win.
What I didn’t like: Texas A&M arguably outplayed the visiting Tigers today for much of the game, outgaining them 407 yards to 316, but two missed field goals and four turnovers never allowed Texas A&M to put points on the board.
LSU is going to have to find a passing game. Texas A&M loaded up the box, daring Zach Mettenberger to throw the ball. And LSU did try to throw it, but Mett kept overshooting his receivers with numerous overthrown passes. He finished with 97 yards and one touchdown. Louisiana Tech threw for 450 yards last week. This is an aspect of the Tigers’ offense that must get better during the bye week.
Who’s the man: How about who are the men? The Tigers’ defense woke up midway through the second quarter. The Tigers held Manziel to 303 yards of total offense and forced 3 interceptions. After Texas A&M’s first two possessions John Chavis really made the necessary changes and adjustments.
Key play: The biggest play of the game was Zach Mettenberger’s 29-yard touchdown pass just before halftime. We hear coaches talk about momentum heading into halftime. That certainly gave LSU momentum after taking the 14-12 lead, and it set the tone for the second half.
What’s next: LSU gets a bye week before hosting Alabama in Baton Rouge, and Texas A&M travels to Auburn next Saturday. LSU remains a national championship contender with November 3rd looming against the Tide.