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