How they scored
Score by quarters
LSU 0 14 0 10 — 24
Texas A&M 9 3 0 7 — 19
A&M: Christine Michael 2 run at 10:46 (Taylor Bertolet kick failed). DRIVE: 12 plays, 75 yards, 4:14. KEY PLAYS: On third-and-1, Nehemiah Hicks 7 pass from Johnny Manziel to the A&M 41. On third-and-6, Ben Malena 18 run to the LSU 6. A&M 6, LSU 0.
A&M: Bertolet 32 field goal at 5:41. DRIVE: 12-66-3:25. KEY PLAYS: Mike Evans 21 pass from Manziel to the LSU 34. After a 15-yard illegal block penalty on A&M’s Jarvis Harrison, Evans 21 pass from Manziel. On third-and-11 from the LSU 20, Manziel scrambles and is chased out of bounds after gain of 6. A&M 9, LSU 0.
A&M: Bertolet 50 field goal at 7:24. DRIVE: 8-42-3:02. KEY PLAYS: Ryan Swope 27 pass from Manziel to the LSU 46. On third-and-11 from the LSU 33, Manziel’s pass to Uzoma Nwachuksu is incomplete. A&M 12, LSU 0.
LSU: Michael Ford 20 rush at 1:49 (Drew Alleman kick). DRIVE: 7-58-2:33. KEY PLAYS: Jalen Collins interception of Manziel gives LSU the ball at its 42. Pass interference on A&M’s Toney Hurd Jr. gives LSU a first down at the A&M 42. On fourth-and-1, Ford 13 on pitch from Spencer Ware. A&M 12, LSU 7.
LSU: Kadron Boone 29 pass from Zach Mettenberger at 0:11 (Alleman kick). DRIVE: 6-40, 0:35. KEY PLAYS: Ronald Martin forces fumble by Ben Malena and Lamin Barrow recovers for LSU at the A&M 41. On second-and-12, Ford 10 run to A&M 32. On fourth-and-2, Jeremy Hill 3 run. LSU 14, A&M 12.
LSU: Alleman 28 field goal at 8:35. DRIVE: 12-55-4:57. KEY PLAYS: On third-and-1, Jeremy Hill 6 run to the LSU 49. Hill 18 run to the A&M 9. On third-and-goal from the 10, Steven Terrell stops Spencer Ware for a 1-yard loss. LSU 17, A&M 12.
LSU: Hill 47 run at 3:12 (Alleman kick). DRIVE: 1-47-0:08. KEY PLAY: Tharold Simon intercepts Manziel and gives LSU the ball at the A&M 47. LSU 24, A&M 12.
A&M: Malena 5 run at 1:17 (Bertolet kick). DRIVE: 9-80-1:55. KEY PLAYS: Swope 16 pass from Manziel gets the drive started. Personal foul penalty of LSU’s Chancey Agheyere moves the ball to the LSU 42. Nwachukwu 27 pass from Manziel puts the ball at the 3. LSU 24, A&M 19.
FINAL SCORE: LSU 24, A&M 19.
RECORDS: LSU 7-1, 3-1 in the SEC, A&M 5-2, 2-2.
- umbers to know
+3 Net point differential for LSU in its four Southeastern Conference games this season.
14 First-time starters for LSU in 2012. Freshman Jalen Mills started at nickel back.
27 Net yards rushing for Aggies QB Johnny Manziel, the SEC leader coming in with 112.7 ypg.
31-2 LSU under Les Miles with a 100-yard rusher. Jeremy Hill had a career-high 127 yards on 18 carries.
THREE AND OUT
What we learned
John Chavis is worth the nearly $1 million per year LSU is paying him to be its defensive coordinator. The Tigers looked completely befuddled by Texas A&M on the opening drive, but Chavis adjusted. As the offense regrouped, LSU kept the Aggies at a low boil, keeping Manziel in the pocket and gluing themselves to his receivers. Yes, the Tigers gave up a season-high 410 yards, but they produced five turnovers. Overall, ‘A’ for effort.
Johnny Football. The Aggies went down to defeat on Saturday, but Johnny Manziel was as dynamic as advertised, running, throwing, keeping plays alive that turned out good and bad for Texas A&M. LSU held him to a season-low 27 net yards rushing and doubled his season interception total with three — key factors in the Tigers’ victory.e_SClBFinal thoughts
Texas A&M had proven its worth in the SEC already. A 5-2 record with losses to top-10 teams LSU and Florida is nothing to be ashamed of. Meanwhile, LSU may win ugly, but it continues to win. The Tigers are 3-1 in SEC play by a combined plus-3 points. Still, LSU could be a top-five team when Alabama comes to Tiger Stadium on Nov. 3. Hard to ask for more than that.
ä Texas A&M freshman quarterback “Johnny Football” Manziel accounted for 303 yards, including 276 yards passing. But here is the key stat of the game: Manziel had zero touchdowns. Here is the second key stat of the game: Manziel was intercepted three times. LSU did a great job of making Manziel work extra hard for every yard he gained, and it hit him hard on numerous occasions. Manziel threw the ball 56 times. The one second-half scoring drive he led the Aggies on came in the final three minutes when the game was out of reach.
ä Add this to the category of “Stats That Don’t Make Sense”: LSU was 2 for 16 on third down (13 percent) and 2 for 2 on fourth down. The stats tell the whole story: LSU did a lot of punting, but made the fourth downs at key moments when it had to. Still, LSU has to have better execution of its plays on third down. That kind of third-down percentage won’t win many games.
LSU’S OFFENSIVE LINE
ä The Tigers have found a good group of guys on the offensive line the last two weeks, and it shows in the production of their running game. LSU started slowly, but the offensive line began to wear down the Texas A&M defense. LSU gained 316 yards. It rushed for 219 yards. LSU averaged 4.9 yards per carry on 45 attempts.
“That looked easy for A&M. If the #LSU defense doesn’t play better, the Tigers offense won’t be able to keep up.”
@Scott Rabalais. Rabalais is
for The Advocate.
“Is it too early to put LSU on #UpsetAlert? Aggies and “Johnny Football” looking good early on @espn. #LSUvsTAMU”
“Manziel’s got great wheels, but also impressed how he’s connected with 6 different receivers already in 1st Q. #TexasA&M”
@BFeldmanCBS. Bruce Feldman is columnist and
commentator for CBS.
“LSU offense still a well-oiled machine, I see.”
@YahooForde. Pat Forde is a columnist for Yahoo Sports.
“This combo of a C-USA coach and Big 12 players doing pretty well against vaunted LSU and SEC defense.”
@ReidLaymance. Laymance is the deputy sports editor at the Houston Chronicle.
“Mettenberger has no innate feel for the pass rush. #LSU”
@LesEast. East is a sportswriter for The Advocate.
“It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s … Kadron Boone! #SupermanCatch #LSUvsTAMU”
“Manziel, wow, #JohnnyFootball”
@mortreport. Page of ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. Mortensen is an NFL reporter for ESPN.
“A&M stopped controlling the game when it started turning ball over. 4-0 turnover deficit. As bad as Mettenberger has been, no turnovers.”
@TravHaneyESPN. Travis Haney is an national college football reporter at ESPN.com
Pierce W. Huff
ä LSU DEFENSE: “Johnny Football” a.k.a. Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel dominated the first one-and-a-half quarters on Saturday, then the LSU’s defense settled down and put on a clinic for how to slow down a mobile quarterback with an uptempo offense. Credit LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis for making great in-game adjustments. Also credit the LSU players for staying aggressive and playing tough, hard-nosed football. Texas A&M had five turnovers (three interceptions and two fumbles) after its hot start.
ä KADRON BOONE: Who had the biggest and best catch of the season by an LSU receiver so far this season? Boone had a pretty, diving catch to give LSU a 14-12 lead with 11 seconds left in the first half. It was the Tigers’ first lead of the game, which they never relinquished.
ä JEREMY HILL: For the second week in a row, Hill, a 6-foot-2, 235-pound freshman from Redemptorist, came up with the breakaway, put-the-game-out-of-reach touchdown run. This time, it was from 47 yards to make the score 24-12 with 3:12 left in the game. He led LSU with 127 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries.
ä LSU penalties: Welcome to what can easily be called the “cut and paste” section of “Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down,” because LSU has suffered from the same problem almost every week. Crazy offsides penalties, nonsensical personal foul calls, the Tigers’ penalty repetoire was in full effect on Saturday. LSU had 13 penalties for 102 yards. Anything close to those numbers in two weeks will result in a loss to the Sabanator.
ä LSU QB Zach Mettenberger : Yes, the wind was a factor. Yes, big guys in non-LSU uniforms were trying to tackle him. But, no, that is not an excuse. Mettenberger had some receivers who were open for long plays, but he missed them. Mettenberger only completed 11 of 29 passes for 97 yards. Opponents have LSU’s offense scouted: Load up the box with seven or eight defenders and dare LSU to throw the ball.
ä LSU’s slow start : For the first quarter at least, it looked like Manziel and Texas A&M were going to run LSU out of the stadium. LSU was a step slow and ineffective on offense. The Tigers get a pass, because they won the game, but the slow start almost was too much to overcome.
Pierce W. Huff