Story Poster
Jimbo Fisher
Jalen Preston
Micheal Clemons
Texas A&M Football

Aggies only have themselves to blame for disappointing loss at LSU

November 28, 2021
28,892

Raise a crystal ball, Aggies, and look into the future.

It’s 2027. Lame-duck LSU football coach Lincoln Riley is reportedly in his final game at Death Valley. His underachieving Tigers prevailed in a stunning victory over Texas A&M.

That formula has worked twice for LSU already.

Six years ago Les Miles, reportedly about to be fired, temporarily saved his job with a victory over the Aggies.

And on Saturday night, Ed Orgeron concluded his LSU coaching tenure with a 27-24 Southeastern Conference victory over the enigmatic No. 15-and-falling Aggies (8-4, 4-4).

An amazing A&M fourth-quarter rally was torpedoed when quarterback Max Johnson passed 28 yards to receiver Jaray Jenkins for a touchdown on third-and-10 with 20 seconds remaining to lift LSU (6-6, 3-5).

Orgeron gets the victory but doesn’t really deserve the credit. A&M deserves blame.

A slow start. Questionable clock management. Poor coverage. Dropped passes. A lackluster running game. All those factors resulted in a painfully disappointing end to the Aggies’ regular season.

“Their offense played well tonight and made the plays they needed to make,” A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said. “We couldn’t get our running game going.

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Jaray Jenkins and the Tigers were able to reel off big plays at key moments.

“In key situations, the defense gave up some big plays. I will have to go back and watch the film, but there were a lot of plays we missed. We dropped some balls. We could’ve blocked better.”

It was a gut-wrenching loss. The kind which can make a coach go from adored to abhorred by a frustrated fan base.

Ask R.C. Slocum. Or Dennis Franchione. Or Kevin Sumlin. Those former A&M coaches were once revered and became reviled.

Fisher is still adored by Aggies…for now. That adulation spiked with a fourth-quarter rally that put A&M on the verge of getting its first win at Death Valley since Slocum triumphed 18-13 in 1994.

A monster pass rush led by Micheal “Cyclops” Clemons and a couple of clutch touchdown passes from the forgiven (Zach Calzada) to the forgotten (Jalen Preston) enabled the Aggies to rally from a 10-point deficit to take a lead in the fourth quarter.

Clemons had four of A&M’s six sacks. All came in the second half. Calzada hit Preston for a 15-yard touchdown with 14:22 left. He eluded two tacklers and angled across the field to turn a short pass into a 32-yard score with 7:33 remaining.

Later, A&M had a 24-20 advantage and the football at its own 17-yard line with just over two minutes to play. LSU had just one timeout remaining.

Fisher might have looked to Isaiah Spiller or Devon Achane to attempt to run for the first down. Instead, Calzada passed to tight end Jalen Wydermyer on an ill-fated route that lost two yards when the Aggies needed to gain two.

“I thought he battled. I thought he competed and made plays and scrambled and made some big-time throws to help us. I thought he battled hard and had some great plays and put us in a position to win the game.”
- Jimbo Fisher on Zach Calzada

A 53-yard Nik Constantinou punt and LSU penalty put the Tigers at their own 15-yard line with 1:58 remaining.

First, they converted on fourth-and-six. Then, Jenkins incredulously got behind the A&M coverage for 31-yard gain.

Finally, Jenkins beat cornerback Jaylon Jones down the A&M sideline for the touchdown.

The Aggies were grossly outplayed throughout the first half. Still, they trailed just 10-3 when Calzada connected with Moose Muhammad on a 13-yard touchdown pass with 4:31 remaining in the half.

Later, A&M regained the football at its own 21-yard line with 1:57 remaining in the half. Perhaps the Aggies would take a conservative approach, run out the clock and count their blessings to be down by just three points.

True to his nature, Fisher chose to attack.

A first down pass to Smith picked up a yard. On second down Calzada was sacked.

Timeout LSU.

Third down was a 1-yard Achane run. Time out LSU. A&M’s series consumed less than a minute.

LSU took possession at its 39-yard line with 1:06 remaining.

Two plays later, Trey Palmer caught a screen pass, ran through tackle attempts by Antonio Johnson, Aaron Hansford and Jardin Gilbert for 61-yard touchdown and a 17-7 just 32 seconds before intermission.

Obviously, that loomed large.

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Calzada made several big, tough plays, including the would-be game-winner, but the Aggies couldn’t hold on.

A&M dominated most of the second half. The Aggies out-gained LSU 178-84 until the Tigers’ final drive.

The pass rush kept Johnson under constant attack and LSU’s running game managed just 36 yards in the second half.

Meanwhile, Calzada, once so maligned, made clutch throws to Preston, who previously had not caught a touchdown pass this season.

“I thought he battled,” Fisher said. “I thought he competed and made plays and scrambled and made some big-time throws to help us. I thought he battled hard and had some great plays and put us in a position to win the game.”

It wasn’t enough to overcome the slow start, clock management, poor coverage, dropped passes and sluggish running game.

If those issues are corrected in future seasons, the Aggies may one day raise the crystal ball that's awarded to the national champion.

If not, the prophetic spheroid will be the only crystal ball raised by the Aggies under Fisher.

Discussion from...

Aggies only have themselves to blame for disappointing loss at LSU

22,620 Views | 16 Replies | Last: 2 yr ago by WorkTogetherAgs
Gilligan
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AG
Jimbo's inability to have his team fired up and ready to play from the opening kickoff is what did this game in. Even the announcers said lsu is fired up and A&M is flat.

We spot them 10 points and then at the end of the 2nd on 3rd and 17 it's a run for no gain and we punt and subsequently forget how to tackle. …another easy 7 points.

Then on 3rd and 2 with the game on the line we call a roll out to the short side of the field with an immobile qb that is 36% passer on third downs. Sigh!

Jimbo was outcoached again.

Now it's time for the hype machine to gear up for another run. Rinse and repeat.

Dallasag517
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AG
That loss stung a little bit. LSU wasn't a very good team, a chance to notch a win in Baton Rouge and up our profile for bowl season.

We have to find a way to develop a passing game opponents must respect. The problem resides not just at the QB position. Our receiver corps has to take two steps up from their current level of play.

If Jimbo is the QB whisperer, he needs to raise his voice a tad this spring and fall before next season starts.
bulverdeaggie93
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AG
someone needs to inform Jimbo that yes they did get the running gaming going… they did with Achane, but Jimbo once again killed the momentum by going back to Spiller's 2.5
Gilligan
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AG
Lack of coaching, lack of football IQ or both, but Spiller running out of bounds on that second down stopping the clock was huge for lsu. Why he didn't stay in the field of play is mind boggling.

Another 35 or so seconds off the game.

Just another example of poor coaching, bad decision making and not putting a complete game together.
JimAggie
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...and only rushing fu**ing 3 on LSU's last drive!
Matsui
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AG
The clock restarted fyi
TMF
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AG
Spiller runs out of bounds, then throw to the sidelines and stop the clock. Just wow.
AWP 97
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Obviously, Spiller didn't watch Tank Bigsby do the same thing in the Auburn game.
J-Licious
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AG
Did anyone address the forward progress bs during press conference???
TMF
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AG
J-Licious said:

Did anyone address the forward progress bs during press conference???


Not sure Jimbo even saw it because he was chewing the QB out.
Sterling82
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J-Licious said:

Did anyone address the forward progress bs during press conference???

I would like to know this. Despite our failures that bs cost us the game. Otherwise it would be comical if it wasn't so pathetic. Pitching Fisher as the splash hire to replace Ogeron? The announcers really wanted to make that a talking point but Ogeron making Fisher look like a chump with less talent left them looking like the fools they are for bringing it up.
DGrimesAg92
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Shouldn't have even come down to a "fwd progress" call…..the most egregious action was not having #6 carrying the ball when we had two tries to get and needed 2 ****ING yards to win it.

Zach is a great kid, but there is NO WAY ON THIS PLANET you put the ball in his hands with the game on the line.
MagnumLoad
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Not completely true Olin. Coaching and players could have overcome the bad calls, but the blown calls on the strip and the blatant push off on the winning catch were huge factors. Get either call right and we most likely win.
I hate tu. It's in my blood.
mullokmotx
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AG
Wasn't Zach in at QB in the last 5 minutes against Alabama?
El Gato
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Correction olin... Dumbo Fischer is NOT still adored by Aggies. Him and his ranch and all that can get the hell out and go to lsu for all I care.
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WorkTogetherAgs
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