Story Poster
Elijah Robinson
Jaylen Henderson
Fadil Diggs
Texas A&M Football

Fourth-quarter collapse in Death Valley finale leaves Texas A&M 7-5

November 25, 2023
12,576

BATON ROUGE, La. — The outlook was bright early. There certainly were rays of light throughout. Ultimately, though, it was gloomy and gray.

That describes the Baton Rouge weather on Saturday. It also describes Texas A&M’s day at Tiger Stadium. Indeed, it describes the Aggies’ football season in general.

Yet again, the Aggies (7-5, 4-4) held a second-half lead.

Yet again, they could not hold it.

A dubious streak stayed alive at Death Valley, where Texas A&M has not prevailed since 1994. A 42-30 loss to No. 14 LSU (9-3, 6-2) extended the Aggies’ streak of consecutive losses in true road games to 10.

This loss might hurt most. An aggressive offensive plan and a tenacious defensive effort enabled the Aggies to hold a surprising 24-14 lead early in the third quarter.

“Our job was just to sustain drives,” A&M interim coach Elijah Robinson said. “I thought our offense did a good job with that. We wanted to make sure we were good on third downs. When we had some fourth-down opportunities to go for it, our guys went for it. We wanted to play aggressive and I thought we called a really good game.”

But LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels, limited to just 52 passing yards in the first half, threw three touchdown passes to three different receivers in the fourth quarter to turn back the Aggies.

For awhile it seemed A&M might duplicate last year’s 38-23 upset of LSU at Kyle Field.

Freed from the shackles of former coach Jimbo Fisher’s antiquated system, the offense appeared loose and more aggressive.

“I thought our offense did a good job with that. We wanted to make sure we were good on third downs. When we had some fourth-down opportunities to go for it, our guys went for it. We wanted to play aggressive and I thought we called a really good game.”
- A&M interim HC Elijah Robinson

A&M relied on its running game and high-percentage passes to amass 390 yards of offense.

Quarterback Jaylen Henderson, making his third career start, passed for 294 yards and two touchdowns.

While Fisher was often appeared reluctant to take chances, Robinson went for it on fourth down fives times. The Aggies converted three.

However, A&M rarely challenged downfield the beleaguered LSU secondary, which was ranked 12th in the SEC in pass defense.

Also, the defense failed to contain Daniels, who passed for 235 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 120 yards. Of that, 278 yards came in the second half.

Of course, Daniels, arguably the leading Heisman Trophy candidate, has victimized almost every defense he’s faced.

“He’s a dynamic player,” Robinson said. “He’s up for the Heisman for a reason. At any given point he can make a play. He did. He has a great supporting cast around him with the running game and those receivers he has. I thought our guys were in good position.”

The Aggies appeared in good position midway through the third quarter with a 24-14 lead and LSU facing a precarious fourth-and-4 at midfield.

But Daniels scrambled 49 yards to set up an LSU touchdown. That play was like lighting a fuse to dynamite.

“I just saw an opening and it was a must-have for us, obviously with that change in momentum. It shifted,” Daniels said. “The play had to be made and I stepped up to the plate.”

A&M responded with a long drive. But it ended with a missed field goal. The Aggies reached midfield on their next series, but Jaylen Henderson’s pass for Ainias Smith was intercepted by LSU linebacker Greg Penn.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Narrowly outgaining LSU (390-389), the Aggies racked up over 300 yards on offense for the fifth time this season.

“I thought I could throw it over the linebacker,” Henderson said. "Honestly, he made a good play. I probably shouldn’t have lofted it up in the air like that. I’ve just got to learn from that next time.”

That led to a 23-yard Daniels touchdown pass and a 35-24 LSU lead.

The Aggies answered with tight end Max Wright shaking off tacklers to turn a short pass from Henderson into a 51-yard touchdown. That brought A&M within 35-30 with 7:20 remaining. Alas, the Aggie defense couldn’t stop Daniels. He threw a clinching touchdown pass three minutes later.

It was another painful near-miss for the Aggies, who also led in the second half of losses to Alabama, Tennessee and Ole Miss.

However, those watching replays — perhaps in Columbus, Ohio or Tucson, Arizona or Durham, North Carolina — might have seen opportunity.

A&M will soon name a new head coach. Could it be Ohio State’s Ryan Day? Or Arizona’s Jedd Fisch? Or Duke’s Mike Elko?

Or could it even be the much-beloved Robinson? He again reiterated his hopes to remain at Texas A&M in some capacity.

“My family loves it here,” he said in a postgame press conference. “I love those players in there (locker room). I sat in a lot of their living rooms and told them I’d see them through. So, I’m going to do everything possible to be in those kids’ lives as long I can be.”

Who it will be is anybody’s guess.

All that really matters is finding a coach who can turn these close losses into program-changing wins.

Discussion from...

Fourth-quarter collapse in Death Valley finale leaves Texas A&M 7-5

8,827 Views | 8 Replies | Last: 4 mo ago by Slyfox07
johnnyblaze36
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Quote:

A&M will soon name a new head coach. Could it be Ohio State's Ryan Day? Or Arizona's Jedd Fisch? Or Duke's Mike Elko?

Or could it even be the much-beloved Robinson? He again reiterated his hopes to remain at Texas A&M in some capacity.
Seems like a great dude but please stop.
fieldtrailer
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
You guys should be able to summarize A&M games in your sleep. NOTHING changes other than coaches.
Aston04
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
We suck, again.
sharpdressedman
How long do you want to ignore this user?
It was a Jimbo game with the same outcome.
AgOutsideAustin
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Mike Sherman says hey I recognize that !
JHCRANE 14
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Just got home and saw the highlights. Tough loss for you guys today. At least you are still going to a bowl game and can finish on a positive note.
HEY!!!!! SAVE ME SOME!!!!!
TAMU74
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Bottom line is...WE STILL CAN'T WIN ON THE ROAD IN THE SEC.
Never going to be champions until that fact changes big time.
Maybe we should go back to the boring big 12.
Slyfox07
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
johnnyblaze36 said:

Quote:

A&M will soon name a new head coach. Could it be Ohio State's Ryan Day? Or Arizona's Jedd Fisch? Or Duke's Mike Elko?

Or could it even be the much-beloved Robinson? He again reiterated his hopes to remain at Texas A&M in some capacity.
Seems like a great dude but please stop.


And Liucci condescendingly lectured us for getting our hopes up while his own employee writes this
Refresh
Page 1 of 1
 
×
subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.