COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Many of the LSU fans who followed their Tigers to Texas A&M for Saturday’s game were seen headed back east on Interstate 10 on Sunday afternoon.
Their football team made it home much sooner.
LSU’s charter flight touched down in Baton Rouge on Saturday at 5:40 p.m., a little more than two hours after the Tigers sealed a 24-19 victory over Texas A&M at Kyle Field.
“This is an unusual time during the day to be done playing football,” LSU coach Les Miles said in his postgame news conference. “I’m sure that our team will get on a plane and bust it to the house, then turn on ESPN and watch these other guys fight for their team and enjoy the day.”
The 11 a.m. kickoff in College Station may have given the Tigers an early start on their open week, but Miles said the Tigers would turn their attention to the next game soon enough. LSU hosts top-ranked Alabama on Nov. 3 in a rematch of last year’s BCS title game.
“I can tell you we look forward to the open week and realize it’s a tremendous opponent we look forward to playing,” Miles said.
Minter wins Camp award
LSU linebacker Kevin Minter added to a breakthrough junior campaign Saturday, making a team-high 12 tackles, registering his first career interception, recording one sack of A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and breaking up one pass.
Sunday, Minter was named the Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week.
Minter has led LSU in tackles in five of eight games and has a whopping 41 tackles in the past three games. He leads the team with 75 tackles this season.
The wild ride of a final play Saturday included six laterals by the A&M offense before Tharold Simon clobbered wide receiver Ryan Swope, forcing a fumble that LSU’s Barkevious Mingo recovered with no time left.
Miles expressed amazement when asked about the play.
“I think that they got credit for six passes,” Miles said. “And we only got one turnover.”
Miles said he looked forward to breaking it down on film.
“I want to tell you something,” Miles said. “We’re going to try to mimic it.”
Collins gets the nod
LSU freshman Jalen Collins got his first career start Saturday as the Tigers opened in a nickel package for the first time this season. Collins routinely serves as the fifth defensive back, but LSU had used its base 4-3 alignment on the opening snap in the first seven games.
Collins is the 14th first-time starter the Tigers have used this season.
He finished Saturday’s game with five tackles. His interception of Manziel in the second quarter set up LSU’s first touchdown.
Coming back strong
In overcoming a 12-0 deficit to score its second Southeastern Conference road win, LSU completed its largest comeback on an opponent’s field since 2004, when the Tigers overcame a 14-0 deficit to win at Florida.
LSU dug out of 10-0 holes against Ohio State in the BCS title game after the 2007 season and against A&M in the Cotton Bowl after the 2010 season.