LSU exacts revenge on Texas A&M with most complete effort of season

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LSU sacks TAMU Mond
(Photo: Jonathan Mailhes)

Texas A&M hired the coach LSU tried to hire in Jimbo Fisher. Then, the other Texas school hired the other guy LSU wanted to hire in Tom Herman.

Then, LSU hired Ed Orgeron. How did all of that turn out?

Most recently, LSU hired Scott Woodward away from A&M as its athletic director.

LSU and Texas A&M is a white hot rivalry, especially after the Aggies stole the seven overtime 74-72 win in College Station a year ago. It was a gift, the perfect storm of questionable to bad calls and opportunity meeting.

Texas A&M was playing the third No. 1 team in the nation on the season, having faced Clemson and Alabama as No. 1 teams previously. Clemson defeated the Aggies 24-10. Alabama handled Texas A&M 47-28.

This game would not compare to either of those.

To say the Aggies walked into a Tiger Den would be a vast understatement.

LSU was a hungry tiger that did not stop eating until he had devoured every piece of meat of the Aggies in a 50-7 demolition at Tiger Stadium.

Joe Burrow was the last player introduced and he came out with a jersey spelled Cajun style, as in Burreaux.

He changed back into his game jersey with the correct spelling before the game began.

Texas A&M opened in five and six-man fronts with two high safeties to combat the LSU passing game.

It did not matter. Burrow hit Ja’Marr Chase for 30 yards and Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran five yards for a touchdown to make it 7-0 with 12:50 to play in the first quarter. The drive covered 75 yards in six plays and took just 2:10.

The drive began on the first play of the game with a horse-collar tackle on Burrow, giving LSU 15 yards.

Ray Thornton was helped off the field injured on the ensuing kickoff. Damone Clark took snaps in his place on defense. Clark played well, including a sack in the second quarter.

Tyler Shelvin jumped offside on the first offensive play for Texas A&M to give the Aggies five yards.

Still, LSU got a stop, got the ball and promptly drove 80 yards in 11 plays with Burrow hitting a wide-open Justin Jefferson on a 12-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0 with seven minutes to play in the opening quarter. Burrow had a pair of key runs for first downs on the drive.

K’lavon Chaisson sacked Kellen Mond on the next series to force a punt.

LSU promptly went 91 yards in three plays with Burrow connecting with Chase on a 78-yard touchdown bomb to give LSU a 21-0 lead with 1:47 to play in the opening quarter. It was the longest completion of Burrow’s LSU career and the longest touchdown pass reception for Chase.

Chaisson then got his second sack to thwart another A&M possession.

LSU finished the first quarter with 240 yards and 21 points. A&M had 18 yards and went scoreless.

The Tigers made it four touchdowns in four possessions, driving 55 yards in 11 plays with Tyrion Davis-Price scoring on a 4-yard run to make it 28-0 with 10:46 to play in the first half.

The Aggies finally slowed LSU on the next Tiger possession but Cade York booted a 51-yard field goal, his longest, to give LSU a 31-0 lead with 5:58 to play in the first half. The drive covered 53 yards in nine plays.

It was the best half of the season for the Tigers. LSU finished the first half with 324 yards to just 40 for A&M. It was by far the best defensive half of the season for LSU. The deepest penetration for the Aggies in the half was the LSU 46-yard line.

Burrow established the SEC record for most passing yards in a single season on a completion early in the third quarter to Clyde Edwards-Helaire, breaking the previous record of Tim Couch of Kentucky.

Grant Delpit, who missed last week’s game with Arkansas, picked off a Mond pass at the A&M 40-yard line.

That set up a 50-yard field goal by York to make it 34-0 with 7:25 to play in the third quarter. In the process, York became the first kicker in LSU history to kick two field goals of 50 yards or more in a game.

The Aggies finally made a play when Mond hit Isaiah Spiller for 46 yards to the LSU 21-yard line.

That led to a 1-yard touchdown by Spiller with 4:13 to play in the third quarter to make it 34-7. The drive covered 75 yards in six plays.

Burrow now has 15 straight games with at least 20 completions.

Burrow then hit Chase on an 18-yard touchdown pass to make it 41-7 with 1:31 to play in the third quarter. It was the 44th passing touchdown of the season by Burrow, tying Drew Lock’s SEC record set in 2017 when he was at Missouri. The drive was 85 yards in seven plays.

LSU led 41-7 going to the final quarter and the Tigers amassed 455 yards in the three quarters.

Early in the fourth quarter, Ed Orgeron called timeout to get Burrow a curtain call in his final game at Tiger Stadium. It was a brilliant move by Orgeron and a special moment for Burrow. It was well deserved.

Myles Brennan came on and completed a 58-yard touchdown pass to Racey McMath to extend the lead to 48-7 with 10:36 to play. McMath broke a tackle and raced down the right sideline for the score. Brennan completed a 15-yard pass to Derrick Dillon prior to the scoring toss.

LSU has now scored 42 points or more in every game except for the 23-20 win over Auburn.

Jacoby Stevens and Kary Vincent Jr. had fourth quarter interceptions of Mond. It was the third of the season for Vincent.

LSU got a safety late on what went as a sack in the end zone of James Foster to make it to the half century mark, a great number to reach in such a revenge game.

Mond, who was chosen ahead of Burrow by SEC coaches for conference honors in the preseason (behind Tua Tagovailoa), was harassed, hounded and hit all night by LSU defenders. He failed to hit many receivers at all, looking shaken throughout. He finished 10-of 30 for 92 yards with three interceptions, a career high.

As for Burrow, he completed 23-of-32 passes for 352 yards and three touchdowns. You think the coaches might want to re-evaluate their assessment of SEC quarterbacks?

The three interceptions by LSU matched a season high, as did the six sacks the Tigers recorded.

The kicking game was tremendous.

Avery Atkins kicked nine touchbacks on nine kickoffs. Zach Von Rosenberg punted wonderfully, though sparingly. He punted three times for a 43-yard average with all three downed inside the 20-yard line, including one which was downed at the 1-yard line. York was tremendous in setting a record as well.

A&M came in averaging 420 yards per game. LSU came in averaging 362 yards per game allowed. The Aggies finished with 169 yards.

It was easily the most complete game of the season for LSU and it came at a good time, against a solid team, a hated rival and prior to the SEC championship game.

Now, it is on to the SEC championship game and hostile territory in Atlanta where Georgia is a virtual home team. The Bulldogs have a terrific defense. The Tigers have a terrific offense. Something has to give.

The Tigers and Bulldogs will meet for the fourth time in the title game. LSU has a 2-1 edge on Georgia.

Even if LSU loses, the Tigers have done plenty enough to be a playoff team. Of course, losing is not in the vision or equation for the Tigers. They look to play add-on, regardless of whether the playoff committee lovefest with Ohio State trumps the Tigers in the final rankings. The only ranking that matters is after the final game of the season is played.

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Ken Trahan

Ken Trahan

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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE Owner and CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Football Foundation, College…

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