LSU survives A&M, looks toward Tide
LSU coach Les Miles is already giving Alabama something to think
about, two weeks away from their showdown in Death Valley.
The Tigers (7-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) head into the
month of November with one loss or fewer for the sixth time in
eight years following Saturday’s 24-19 win over Texas A&M. LSU
has an open date before hosting top-ranked Alabama on Nov. 3,
The Crimson Tide wasn’t on Miles’ mind moments after LSU rallied
to beat the Aggies at Kyle Field.
”We’re going to get on the plane,” Miles said. ”We’re going
to head home. We’re going to find us a big flat-screen TV
somewhere. Eat heavily, watch the games, and probably tomorrow
sometime we’ll likely meet with the team and describe the game and
kind of fix it, talk about the things we did good and the things we
Long passes were one of the things LSU didn’t do well against
Zach Mettenberger completed only 11 of 29 passes for 97 yards.
He did throw a 29-yard TD pass to Kadron Boone that put LSU ahead
for good just before halftime. Otherwise, he completed no pass
longer than 17 yards and overthrew some open receivers down the
The Tigers have two weeks to fix that – and maybe work on some
deep throws to try against the Tide.
”We’re going to hit some of those deep shots eventually,”
Mettenberger said the Aggies stacked the line of scrimmage to
stop LSU’s running attack, something he hadn’t seen other opponents
try yet this season. That created opportunities for long passes,
but Mettenberger said the swirling wind at Kyle Field affected his
”It was really tough to throw those deep balls accurately
today,” he said. ”Before this game, we really hadn’t taken many
shots downfield. Next time, we have to capitalize on the deep
The Tigers weren’t biting on questions about the Tide after
Saturday’s hard-fought win.
LSU beat Alabama 9-6 in overtime in Tuscaloosa last Nov. 5. The
Crimson Tide then dominated the Tigers 21-0 in the BCS championship
”We can’t look into that right now,” running back Michael Ford
said. ”We have to go and make corrections from this game.”
And there will be plenty of those, particularly from the first
quarter and a half. The Aggies (5-2, 2-2) and their no-huddle
offense kept the Tigers off balance early and dropped LSU into a
12-0 deficit, its biggest since last year’s championship game.
As the first half wore on, LSU’s defense started to figure out
A&M and quarterback Johnny Manziel, who came into the game
leading the SEC in total offense. Freshman Jalen Collins got the
Tigers going when he intercepted Manziel’s pass near midfield.
Collins was making his first.
Ford finished the resulting drive with a 20-yard touchdown run,
the 13th of his career.
Texas A&M’s Ben Malena then fumbled at the Aggies’ 42, and
Boone made a diving, over-the-shoulder catch in the end zone with
11 seconds left before the break. LSU also converted another
Manziel interception into a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
”We’ve been in situations like that before,” defensive end Sam
Montgomery said about trailing early. ”We know how to fight our
way out of those situations. The game is not over until the fourth
LSU’s offense would like to help the defense a bit more. The
Tigers failed to score a touchdown in the first quarter for the
third straight game, and they’re averaging only 16 points in their
four SEC games.
”Our job as an offensive group is we have to start clicking
more, start scoring points earlier,” Boone said.
A&M outgained LSU 410-316, and the Tigers went a paltry
2-for-16 on third down. As long as the Tigers keep winning, though,
the defense doesn’t mind carrying the load.
”They had more yards than us,” junior defensive end Barkevious
Mingo said of the Aggies. ”They passed for more and ran for more.
But our offense did what they needed to.”
LSU plays its next three games at home before wrapping up the
regular season at Arkansas. The Tigers have won 22 straight games
in Death Valley, the nation’s longest current streak and the
longest in school history.