By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
The Tigers traveled to College Station hoping to take down the #5 ranked Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday night. Instead they would waste the defense's best effort of the season as a lifeless offense and poor special teams would highlight this very ugly loss.
The LSU defense played inspiring football most of the night, controlling the A&M
offense throughout the game only giving up 13 points. They also limited huge offensive plays, only giving up a couple of big running plays.
LSU simply can't establish any kind of a running attack, putting too much pressure on the
shoulders of their young freshman quarterbacks. But perhaps the biggest disappointment so far this season, other then the defense play, has been the poor performance of the offensive line. Each week they loose the battle in the trenches, struggling to open running lanes for the backs and providing protection in the passing game.
This 2020 college football season seems like a horrifying episode of the Twilight Zone..
Below is 'Da Boot Sports' recap of the game....
Both teams would trade punts to start the game. A&M would then drive 41 yards in seven plays, setting up a 41 yard field goal by Aggies' kicker Seth Small. The drive was highlighted by a 26 yard run by Kellen Mond, who would take a late hit out of bounds by JaCoby Stevens tacking on 15 yards before the LSU defense would stiffen up and stop the drive forcing the field goal attempt. 3-0 Aggies with 9:10 to go in the quarter.
For the rest of the quarter, both defenses would keep the other team's offense in check, forcing five straight punts.
With 1:06 to go in the 1st, the Aggies would start their fifth possession of the night from their 46 yard line. On 2nd and eight, Isaiah Spiller would follow his pulling guards and out run the LSU defense to the end zone for a 52 yard touchdown. Small would add the point after and A&M would extend their lead to 10-0 with :16 ticks left on the game clock...
With the rain beginning to steadily fall, LSU would take their next possession into the
second quarter unable to move the football, punting it away.
The Aggies would begin a nice drive into LSU territory, kick started by a 32 yard run by
Isaiah Spiller on the first play of the possession down to the Tigers' 36 yard line. The LSU defense would bend but not break as on a 3rd and 16 from the 21 yard line, Kellen Mond would complete a 15 yard pass to Jalen Wydermyer, setting up 4th and one at the six. Jimbo Fisher would decided to leave the offense on the field and go for it. Mond would try to sneak for it but loose the ball, turning it over on downs to the Tigers with 9:37 left in the half.
Starting 1st and ten at their own 15, T.J. Finley would drop back to throw and find Terrace Marshall Jr. across the middle on the move. Marshall would race 54 yards to the A&M 31 yard line. On the next play, Finley would throw deep to Kayshon Boutte who appeared to come down with the ball in the near front corner of the end zone inside of the pylon for an apparent touchdown. However, the call would be reversed to an incomplete pass after it was reviewed. From there it would go from bad to worse, as Finley would have his pass tipped and intercepted at the Aggies' 21 yard line on the very next play, ending the scoring opportunity.
The LSU defense would force a three-and-out, forcing the Aggies to punt from their own end zone, giving the Tigers great starting field position at the A&M 45 yard line. Finley and the offense would drive 29 yards down to 16 yard line before having to attempt a 34 yard field goal. Cade York would hit the ball badly, pushing it to the right, missing the kick.
Both teams would struggle offensively as they would each trade punts twice, setting up Texas A&M, 1st and ten at their 33 yard line with :43 seconds left in the first half. Mond would drive the Aggies 44 yards in eight plays, setting up a 40 yard field goal attempt on the last play of the half. Seth Small would split the uprights sending the both teams to the locker rooms with Texas A&M leading 13-0.
The contest continued to be a defensive battle as both teams would trade punts deep into the 3rd quarter.
With 4:53 left in the quarter, LSU would find themselves pinned back deep, starting a drive at their nine yard line. On 2nd and ten, T.J. Finley would desperately release a pass while under heavy pressure which ended up in the hands of Aggies' linebacker Buddy Johnson, who would return the interception 15 yards into the end zone for the score, putting A&M up 20-0.
The interception would end Finley's night as Orgeron would pull him for Max Johnson who would finish the game for the Tigers.
The rain would continue to fall into the final quarter and both offenses would continue to struggle as the defenses would keep dominating the contest. Without a running game and an offensive line that would struggle all game long, Max Johnson would fair no better then Finley as the LSU offense would be unable to execute at all on a night when the LSU defense would play perhaps their best game of the season. Both teams would combine for five straight punts, leading us from the beginning of the quarter until LSU would begin the last drive of the game at their own 19 yard line with 5:09 left in the contest.
With Jimbo Fisher inserting second team players into the game, Johnson and the LSU
offense would finally produce their only real drive of the night. With the Aggies defense still brining the heat against the freshman quarterback, Max Johnson would play with poise under constant pressure driving LSU 81 yards in 14 plays, finishing off the drive with a three yard touchdown pass to Terrace Marshall with only 38 seconds remaining to avoid the shutout.
Texas A&M would recover the on-side kick and kneel the final seconds away for a 20-7 victory.
The Texas A&M defense played an outstanding game causing the LSU offense to struggle all game long. LSU's offensive line would be dominated by the A&M defensive front all night, allowing constant pressure on both LSU quarterbacks who struggled under the pressure badly.
T.J. Finley would finish 9-25, 118 yards, with 2 INTs.. Max Johnson would fair no better until facing second team players on the final drive of the game finishing 14-22, 113 yards, with 1 touchdown pass.
The running backs would find no room to run the football as it would be a battle at times just to make it out of the backfield. Ty Davis-Price could only manage 18 yards on 11 carries, while John Emery had only 4 carries for 13 yards. LSU finished the game rushing for only 36 total yards on the ground.
Terrace Marshall lead the team in receiving with 134 yards on 10 catches and a touchdown grab. Other then Marshall, the rest of the receivers would find very few catchable ball thrown their way.
The LSU defense came out and played perhaps their best game of the season, frustrating A&M senior quarterback Kellen Mond all night long. The Tigers would only manage one sack, but put pressure on Mond throughout the game.
The defensive line played a great game, pressuring the quarterback and making a few plays behind the line of scrimmage during key moments of the game. Ali Gaye and Glenn Logan both lead the D-Line charge with four tackles each.
The linebackers played well in pass coverage but struggled to stop the run early in the ball game. Micah Baskerville lead the team in tackles with 12 total as he had a great outing. Jabril Cox had a solid game, especially in pass coverage.
The secondary played perhaps their best game of the season as they were able to handle the A&M receivers with tight coverage throughout the contest as well as playing strong against the run in the second half. Overall Bo Pelini's defense did their job to give the Tigers a chance to win the game.
LSU special teams have been special all season, but had a tough night. Cade York missed a 34 yard field goal attempt in the 2nd quarter.. Zach Von Rosenberg would need to punt 11 times and may have injured himself late in the game making a tackle. The Tigers also had poor luck while trying to receive a punt as A&M would recover a live ball after it would hit a LSU player in the leg off the bounce.
Next up, our 3-4 Tigers will host #1 ranked Alabama in Tiger Stadium on Saturday, December 5th. The game will be carried by CBS, kickoff set for 7pm...
Photos By: LSU/SEC