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Texas A&M Football

Post Game Review: No. 5 Texas A&M 20, LSU 7

November 28, 2020
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This one matched the weather: Sloppy

No. 5 Texas A&M overcame LSU and the rain on Saturday night as the Aggies defeated the Tigers, 20-7, to improve to 6-1 on the season. The win is A&M’s fifth consecutive victory as the Maroon & White continued the streak following a two-week COVID-19 induced hiatus.

Struggles passing the ball, a plethora of punts and plenty of penalties marred the ballgame.

Kellen Mond was 11 of 34 for 105 yards throwing the ball. LSU quarterbacks T.J. Finley and Max Johnson combined for 231 yards through the air.

Texas A&M’s defense was stout, holding the Tigers to just 267 yards of offense. LSU was able to gain just 36 yards on the ground. Mike Elko’s unit notched three sacks and five tackles for loss. Jaylon Jones and Buddy Johnson each intercepted a pass, and Johnson returned his pick for a touchdown.

On special teams, Nik Constantinou and Zach Von Rosenberg combined for 23 punts. A&M’s Aussie punter had quite the night as he had 12 punts, six of which were downed inside the 20-yard line.

LSU spoiled the Aggies’s shutout bid on the final drive of the night as Max Johnson led a 14-play, 81-yard march that culminated in a 3-yard touchdown pass to Terrace Marshall.

Early on, it was clear the contest would be messy as the two sides struggled to adjust to the wet ball and slippery sod.

After an A&M three-and-out to open the game, freshman quarterback T.J. Finley led LSU into A&M territory, and on fourth-and-1 from the 35, Finley handed the ball to Tyrion Davis-Price. DeMarvin Leal met the Tiger ball carrier before he reached the line to gain, forcing a turnover on downs.

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
The two punters saw a lot of action on Saturday night, combining for 23 punts.

On the second play of the ensuing drive, Mond rushed for 26 yards on an option-keeper. A late hit penalty and a pass interference call two plays later pushed the Aggies into the red zone. On the following play, Isaiah Spiller slipped and lost four yards. Two incompletions later, the Aggies settled for a Seth Small 41-yard field goal to open the scoring.

After a three-and-out, Von Rosenberg bobbled a snap but narrowly avoided a blocked punt. His less-than-stellar boot only rolled 36 yards, giving Mond and the Aggie offense the ball at their 36. This was the first of five consecutive punts from the two teams.

Spiller eventually found his footing as the feature tailback scored the game's first touchdown on a 52-yard carry, giving the Ags a 10-0 advantage with just sixteen seconds to play in the first quarter.

With 9:30 remaining in the second quarter, A&M drove deep into LSU territory before facing a third-and-16 situation. A completion to Jalen Wydermyer for 16 yards was marked just short of the line to gain. Jimbo Fisher elected to go for it on fourth-and-short at the 6. Mond attempted to extend the ball over the line, and it was knocked loose. While A&M did recover the fumble, LSU took over on downs at the Aggies’ 15-yard line.

On the Tigers’ next two series, they advanced the ball into A&M territory but ultimately came up empty. On the first, Finley threw an interception as Jaylon Jones hauled in a tipped pass. On the second, Cade York missed a 34-yard field goal attempt to the left.

Small nailed a 40-yarder as time expired in the half to give A&M a 13-0 lead at the break.

The sloppiness continued into the final thirty minutes.

Constantinou’s second punt of the third-quarter bounced off of LSU’s Dwight McGlothern and was recovered by Connor Blumrick at LSU’s 44-yard line. However, the Aggies did not capitalize on the turnover and punted again three plays later.

Texas A&M’s defense was stout, holding the Tigers to just 267 yards of offense. LSU was able to gain just 36 yards on the ground. Mike Elko’s unit notched three sacks and five tackles for loss.

After Constantinou’s punt was downed at the 9-yard line, Finley threw incomplete to Kayshon Boutte. Finley’s next pass attempt was picked off by Buddy Johnson and returned 15 yards to the house, giving the Aggies a 20-0 lead. The interception resulted in Finley’s second benching of the game.

A&M’s defense continued to make life difficult on backup quarterback Max Johnson. On third down, Andre White sacked Johnson at the two, and Von Rosenberg was forced to punt from his own endzone. A&M took over their 44-yard line but did not take advantage of the prime field position.

The remainder of the game featured corresponding punts until LSU’s scoring drive.

Texas A&M will turn its attention to the blue and orange Tigers of the SEC as the Aggies hit the road next week to face Auburn on The Plains. Kickoff time for next Saturday’s game has not yet been announced.

RUMBLED: Texas A&M’s defense showed few signs of rust following the three-week layoff.

STUMBLED: Plenty of players literally stumbled as they struggled to find their footing on a rain-soaked Kyle Field.

UNSUNG HERO: Nik Constantinou got more work than expected, but the Aussie punter helped the Aggies win the field-position battle. Of his 12 punts, six were downed inside the 20. One was killed at the three, one at the nine and another at the four.

TURNING POINT: With 50 seconds left in the first quarter, A&M took over at their own 46-yard line. Two Isaiah Spiller runs later (including a 52-yard house call), the Aggies were in the endzone, making it 10-0. The Maroon & White didn’t look back.

KEY STAT: Texas A&M entered the game ranked third nationally in third-down efficiency. The Aggies struggled on the drive-extending down on Saturday night, converting just twice on 16 opportunities. The offense’s struggles allowed LSU to hang around longer than the Tigers should have.

Scoring Summary

First-quarter

A&M: 9:10 - Seth Small 41-yard field goal. Drive: 7 plays, 41 yards. TOP: 2:16. Texas A&M 3, Louisiana State 0

A&M: 0:16 - Isaiah Spiller 52-yard touchdown run. Drive: 2 plays, 54 yards. TOP: 0:50. Texas A&M 10, Louisiana State 0

Second-quarter

A&M: 0:00 - Seth small 40-yard field goal. Drive: 8 plays, 44 yards. TOP: 0:43. Texas A&M 13, Louisiana State 0

Third-quarter

A&M: 4:36 - Buddy Johnson interception returned 15 yards for a touchdown. Texas A&M 20, Louisiana State 0

Fourth-quarter

LSU: 0:38 - Max Johnson 3-yard touchdown pass to Terrace Marshall. Drive: 14 plays, 81 yards. TOP: 4:38. Texas A&M 20, Louisiana State 7

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Post Game Review: No. 5 Texas A&M 20, LSU 7

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