Texas A&M Football: Three Keys to Victory Over LSU
The Texas A&M football team is looking to end an up and down season on a high note by beating the LSU Tigers on Thanksgiving Night at Kyle Field.
After almost five years in the SEC, the Aggies (8-3, 4-3 SEC) have managed to take down every team in the West…except one. The Tigers of Louisiana State University. The Tigers (6-3, 4-2 SEC) will make the trip to Kyle Field on Thursday to round out the regular season.
Here are my three key “must-dos” for the Aggies to come out as the victors on Thursday night.
Stop the Tigers Run Game
The Tigers offense operates mostly on a successful run game. Many know the success story that is Leonard Fournette, but he’s not the only one in purple and gold outrunning defenses every Saturday. Derrius Guice has a total of 964 yards on the season, to Fournette’s 843.
With two rushers sitting at close to 1,000 yards for the season, the run game is a large part of their offense. Shut that down, and the Tigers will be scrambling to find a way to get down field. Their leading receiver, Malachi Dupre, has 404 yards on the season. In comparison, the Aggies have two receivers at or close to the 800 mark, Josh Reynolds at 834 and Christian Kirk at 735.
Find a Way to Penetrate and Outplay the Defense
The Aggie offensive line is going to have to step it up Thursday night against this talented Tigers front. The Tigers rank 11th in total defense in the NCAA. The Aggies have only faced one defense ranked higher this season, Alabama who comes in at number 2 overall. In the last 10 games, the Tigers have only allowed 11 total touchdowns, allowing an average of 308 yards a game. Their defense is predominately upperclassmen and therefore very experienced.
Since starting out strong on defense, the Aggies have dropped all the way to #81. The Aggies have allowed an average of 428 yards per game with 27 opposing touchdowns allowed.
If the Aggies starting quarterback, whoever that may be, can get comfortable and established under center and establish a solid and evenly distributed running and passing game, they definitely have a chance on Thursday night.
Play a Complete Football Game
The Aggies have had issues putting teams away all season.
Starting with UCLA, where the Aggies lead by 15 going into the 4th quarter, but ultimately having to go to overtime to come out the victors.
Tennessee came to town as the Aggies were hoping to improve to 6-0, and it looked like it was going to happen. The Aggies lead by 14 going into the fourth quarter. Then allowed 21 4th quarter points, 14 of which came in the last 2 minutes of play. The Aggies only made it to OT because of a 62-yard scamper by Trevor Knight for a score late in the fourth.
Once again versus Ole Miss came the fourth quarter collapse, but this time the Aggies weren’t able to escape it. Despite leading 21-6 going into the 4th quarter, the Aggies came out the losers after allowing 23 points to score in the fourth, sealed by a Jake Hubenak interception with 35 seconds to go.
If the Aggies can play a complete game in all phases, they can come out the victors of this game. But if they begin to fall apart, there are no promises the boys in maroon and white even have a chance.
***Stats from ESPN***
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