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LSU heads over to College Station for their last SEC road game of the season and will take on the Aggies of Texas A&M. The Tigers won the first meeting at home and were able to overcome a big deficit early in the game. Once again the pace will determine the game, and LSU needs to prove they can alter A&M's pace on the road.
As the season winds down and the weather warms up, I think LSU fans should be pleased with where the Tigers are at this point in the season. It seems like the "way too early predictions" are already high on the Tigers because of the way Anthony Hickey and Johnny O'Bryant have led the team. The losses on the roster will be minimal, while the talent infusion is top notch. It's a good time to buy in on the Tigers.
One thing that would really make people take notice would be if LSU could continue to finish strong. They've won 7 of the last 10, have done a great job defending the PMAC, and have generally played well on the road even in losses. A great step would be to win in a tough, emotional environment that Texas AM will have tonight for senior night. The SEC as a whole has been terrible on the road, especially the teams in the lower part of the rankings, and a great way to make a last minute statement would be to ruin senior night.
To do that, I think LSU actually has a lot of options in this game. Texas AM, as mentioned before, plays really slow, and when they fall behind that can cause them to rely too much on Elston Turner. Anthony Hickey has been playing well defensively and LSU may be able to rely on Hickey and Coleman to generate some offense from defense early in the game when LSU tends to shoot better. Johnny O'Bryant is also hot, so if it becomes a slow game, LSU can pound it inside to JOB3 and Del Piero and make A&M stop them. Stringer has had a good season shooting while Carmouche is hot, so either player could contribute from the outside if JOB3 is double teamed.
Overall, I think the best option for this game is to pressure as much as possible. It was the turnover woes that plagued Texas AM and they finished with 24 in the game, and 19 were considered steals. The shooting wasn't good, which was partially because of the defense, so as many possessions as LSU can get the better. It will likely be another game that the first to 60 wins, even if LSU can speed it up, and I'm interested to see if LSU can come out with the same passion as they did against Arkansas and Missouri.
Texas AM comes into the game as solid 5 point favorites with a higher over/under at 130. As mentioned previously, I think it's going to be lower scoring against, and I'd feel more comfortable with the under. I'd be tempted to take LSU with the points because we've generally played well in spurts on the road, and are certainly capable of beating Texas AM again.
Game time is set for 7:00 CT and the game can be seen on the SEC Network (In Louisiana: Alexandria - KLAX-DT2; Baton Rouge - WBXH; Monroe - KARD; New Orleans - WUPL; Shreveport - KSHV) and ESPN3.