Rapid Reaction: Texas A&M dominates No. 5 LSU, ends Tigers' Playoff bid
No. 5 LSU was trying to keep alive its hope for reaching the College Football Playoff.
Texas A&M was trying to end its hugely disappointing season with an uplifting upset win.
The Tigers didn’t look like CFP material and the Aggies suddenly looked like the team that was No. 6 in the preseason poll and not like the team that failed to become bowl eligible.
Devon Achane returned from injury to rush for 215 yards and 2 touchdowns and set the tone for A&M’s convincing 38-23 victory Saturday night at Kyle Field.
He had plenty of help as Conner Weigman threw 2 touchdown passes and was efficient throughout and the defense contained Jayden Daniels and the LSU offense.
The victory ended a 6-game SEC losing streak as the Aggies finished the season 5-7 overall and 2-6 in the league.
The Tigers (9-3, 6-2) will still play No. 1 Georgia for the SEC Championship next Saturday, but their CFP hopes vanished.
After allowing 17 points on the Aggies’ 3 first-half possessions, the LSU defense got a 3-and-out on the opening possession of the second half.
After A&M punted, the Tigers drove to John Emery Jr.’s 19-yard touchdown run that tied the score at 17.
The Aggies’ next possession was a 2nd consecutive 3-and-out.
Then everything changed.
On the 3rd play after the punt, Daniels fumbled and A&M’s Demani Richardson picked the ball up and ran 27 yards for a touchdown that gave A&M a 24-17 lead with 7:03 left in the 3rd quarter.
LSU’s next possession ended with a punt and the Aggies marched deep into Tiger territory as the third quarter ended.
On the 1st play of the 4th quarter, Weigman threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Moose Muhammad III. The catch was spectacular, a 1-handed grab with an LSU defender wrestling with his right arm.
— Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR) November 27, 2022
Muhammad added another highlight reel on the Aggies’ next possession, which led to another TD run from Achane.
The Aggies began the game with the emotion of a team trying to salvage a signature win from a hugely disappointing season.
They forced an LSU punt on the game’s first possession, then put Achane to work. He carried the ball 9 times for 54 yards, finishing a 90-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run.
A&M held the ball for half the quarter (7 minutes, 37 seconds to be exact) and didn’t get the ball back in the period, which ended with them still holding the 7-0 lead.
On the 2nd play of the 2nd quarter, John Emery completed a 12-play, 75-yard drive by rushing 4 yards for a tying touchdown. He was marked down short of the goal line, but the ruling was changed to a touchdown on review. Emery finished with 3 TDs on the night.
The Aggies offense went right back to work, quickly driving to a first-and-goal at the 10. But they managed just 3 more yards and Randy Bond kicked a 25-yard field goal for a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter.
The Tigers drove to the A&M 16, but Kyren Lacy dropped a pass that would have converted a third-and-2. Damian Ramos kicked a 34-yard field goal to tie the score.
The Aggies made it 3 scores in 3 1st-half possessions when Weigman threw a 3-yard touchdown pass in 3rd and goal. That gave them a 17-10 halftime lead.
They didn’t look back from that point on.