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Texas A&M Football

Post Game Review: LSU 27, No. 15 Texas A&M 24

November 27, 2021
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Crushing.

No. 15 Texas A&M led LSU with two minutes to play after erasing a 10-0 deficit, but an 85-yard touchdown drive with 20 seconds left gave the Tigers a 27-24 win in Ed Orgeron's final home game.

Trailing 20-17 in the fourth and facing third-and-8, Zach Calzada scrambled, escaped pressure and found Jalen Preston near the sideline. The wideout cut towards the middle of the field and weaved his way 32 yards to the endzone to give A&M its first lead of the game with 7:33 to play.

Texas A&M's defense held firm with a crucial stop, highlighted by the Aggies’ fifth sack of the night as DeMarvin Leal and Tyree Johnson got to LSU's Max Johnson. 

However, the Tigers got the ball back with 1:58 to play following a quick A&M three-and-out. On the punt, it appeared as if Demani Richardson had stripped the ball from Trey Palmer, but the officials ruled that Palmer’s forward progress had been stopped prior to the strip.

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
LSU marched 85 yards to a game-winning TD celebration in the final minutes.

Taking over at their 15-yard line, Max Johnson rushed for five, but on the next play, Clemons got home for his fourth sack of the game. A five-yard pass set up fourth-and-7, and Max Johnson connected with Jack Beck for 11 yards before finding Jaray Jenkins for 31 yards to the A&M 39. Another 11-yard completion moved the Tigers to A&M's 28 with 31 seconds to play. A touchdown to Jenkins gave LSU the lead late.

LSU bottled up Texas A&M's rushing attack as the Aggies mustered just 54 yards on the ground. The Tigers outgained the Ags, 412-296 on the night.

The Tigers opened the game with a 50-yard field goal, and early in the second quarter, Max Johnson lofted a 45-yard touchdown pass to Jenkins to extend the Tigers’ lead to 10-0.

A&M responded two drives later.

Calzada kickstarted A&M's next possession with a nine-yard pass to Ainias Smith before Isaiah Spiller ripped off a nine-yard rush. Calzada connected with the speedy Achane for a 23-yard pickup before linking with Wydermyer for 14 to LSU’s 18. Facing third-and-5 at the 13 and an all-out blitz, Calzada fired a strike off his back foot to Muhammad for a huge touchdown.

Right before the half, Max Johnson connected with Palmer on a screen pass. The receiver took it 61 yards to the house with 32 seconds left to give LSU a 17-7 advantage at the break.

The second half started slow for A&M, but a 40-yard pass from Calzada to Muhammad on A&M's second series moved them into the red zone. However, A&M settled for a Seth Small 33-yard field goal while cutting the deficit to one possession.

Micheal Clemons and Leal came up with a huge sack of Max Johnson on third-and-10 as the Aggie defense continued to find its footing. Muhammad's 17-yard return of Atkins' punt gave A&M the ball inside LSU territory.

Despite the favorable field position, A&M's offense came up empty as Calzada threw three consecutive incompletions. Constantinou’s punt was fair caught by Palmer at the LSU 12-yard line.

RUMBLED: Jalen Preston and Micheal Clemons deserve game balls. Preston hauled in three passes for 57 yards and his first two touchdowns of the season. Clemons dialed up the pressure in the second half and finished the game with 3.5 sacks.

After a third-down conversion, Davis-Price ran over Leon O'Neal Jr. for a gain of 29 yards to the A&M 43. Max Johnson hit then Jenkins for 13 yards to give the junior wideout 100 yards receiving on the night. On third-and-9 at the 29, Max Johnson fired incomplete as Cade York's 47-yarder gave the Tigers a 10-point advantage.

A steady dose of Achane began A&M's next possession as the sophomore rushed for 46 yards on the first three plays. A pass to Achane for 16 yards moved the Aggies into the red zone. On the second play of the final quarter, Calzada found Preston for a 15-yard touchdown strike.

Needing a stop, Texas A&M's defense came up big as Clemons recorded his second sack of the game. On third-and-15, Malik Nabers dropped a screen pass, allowing the Aggie defense to get off the field with about 13 minutes to play.

Setting up shop at their 36, the Aggies went three-and-out. Constantinou's seventh punt of the night traveled 42 yards and was fair caught at the LSU 22.

Clemons continued to be a one-man wrecking crew, sacking Max Johnson for a loss of seven on second down before Richardson got the QB from the blind side on the very next play. Muhammad's 15-yard punt return gave A&M the ball at the LSU 45. A&M took the lead on the following possession, but a Hollywood script got in the Aggies' way.

After snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, A&M concludes the regular season 8-4 and will now await their bowl destination, which will be announced next weekend.

RUMBLED: Jalen Preston and Micheal Clemons deserve game balls. Preston hauled in three passes for 57 yards and his first two touchdowns of the season. Clemons dialed up the pressure in the second half and finished the game with 3.5 sacks.

STUMBLED: Texas A&M's pass defense allowed Max Johnson to pick them apart on the most important drive of the game as the LSU signal-caller led the Tigers on an 85-yard game-winning drive.

UNSUNG HERO: Sure, Texas A&M struggled to run the football, but it was Devon Achane who jumpstarted the offense in the third with carries of 21 and 18 yards, respectively. The junior back amassed 49 yards on 12 carries but added 72 receiving yards. Achane was the Aggies' leading rusher and leading receiver.

TURNING POINT: That final LSU drive was gut-wrenching. Storybook for some, heartbreaking for others.

KEY STAT: 118 seconds. That's how close A&M was to spoiling Ed O's going-away party.

Scoring Summary

First-quarter

LSU: 6:22 - Cade York 50-yard field goal. Drive: 13 plays, 44 yards. TOP: 6:22. Louisiana State 3, Texas A&M 0

Second-quarter

LSU: 14:12 - Max Johnson 45-yard touchdown pass to Jaray Jenkins. Drive: 4 plays, 66 yards. TOP: 1:56. Louisiana State 10, Texas A&M 0

A&M: 4:31 - Zach Calzada 13-yard touchdown pass to Muhsin Muhammad III. Drive 7 plays, 73 yards. TOP: 3:46. Louisiana State 10, Texas A&M 7

LSU: 0:32 - Max Johnson 61-yard touchdown pass to Trey Palmer. Drive: 2 plays, 62 yards. TOP: 0:34. Louisiana State 17, Texas A&M 7

Third-quarter

A&M: 8:09 - Seth Small 33-yard field goal. Drive: 10 plays, 63 yards. TOP: 4:42. Louisiana State 17, Texas A&M 10

LSU: 2:29 - Cade York 47-yard field goal. Drive: 9 plays, 59 yards. TOP: 3:23. Louisiana State 20, Texas A&M 10

Fourth-quarter

A&M: 14:22 - Zach Calzada 15-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Preston. Drive: 7 plays, 75 yards. TOP: 3:07. Louisiana State 20, Texas A&M 17

A&M: 7:33 - Zach Calzada 32-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Preston. Drive: 6 plays, 45 yards. TOP: 2:34. Texas A&M 24, Louisiana State 20

LSU: 0:20 - Max Johnson 28-yard touchdown pass to Jaray Jenkins. Drive: 9 plays, 85 yards. TOP: 1:38. Louisiana State 27, Texas A&M 24

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Post Game Review: LSU 27, No. 15 Texas A&M 24

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