I gave it a fair shot, but man, the Thanksgiving game totally sucks. It sucks so much not even the most fanatical fanbase on the planet could be bothered to show up. When not even the Cult of Aggy gets into the event, we can safely call it a failed experiment.
It was a weird game, even by the rather lenient standards of the Les Miles era, but it wasn't one that either fanbase will be talking about for years or anything. I think this Thanksgiving tilt with A&M is just something we have to put up with for a decade until the Aggies and Longhorns get over themselves and start playing again. This was just an awkward date in which A&M tried to convince their ex how much fun they were having with their new girlfriend.
This was the kind of game that was almost like a clip show of previous weird LSU games. Hey, look! There's the inadvertent whistle again! Oo! I remember that missed field goal from inside the 30! Cool! It's a reprise of the unnecessary roughness after the whistle! And here we again, it's the defense trying to stop a two minute drill!
But I watched it because it was the last regular season game of this season, and we're about to enter the long, cold winter of our discontent. Honestly, Thanksgiving evening should be a time to spend with your family, and we did hang out with grandma, but I felt genuinely bad to watch a football game. We shouldn't be playing this evening, and the fans lack of interest and the quality of play reflected that. Stop playing this game on Thanksgiving. It's bad.
As for the game itself, let's not be Bama fans and be honest about this: that was a terrible no call. LSU was offsides, and worse yet, it completely influenced the play. Kyle Allen correctly read that a lineman jumped, and he threw the ball deep because it was a free play. Heck, I didn't even celebrate the INT because I was so sure it was coming back. Only, there was no flag and the play was the opposite of free.
Now, A&M was only in a position to win the game because of a horrible phantom PI on 3rd and 25 set up a Speedy Noil touchdown. Without that bad call, the Aggies never have the chance to be screwed by a different bad call. It wasn't the referees' best night, it what I'm saying.
A&M was also in a position to win this game because of a series of mystifying calls by the coaching staff on the final drive. Leonard Fournette busted off a 46 yard run to get LSU in scoring position. Then, needing only a 1st down to ice the game, Fournette never stepped on the field again for the final series of downs. The first two plays were both outside runs by Magee, followed by a passing play which resulted in a sack. There's not a single good decision by the coaching staff there.
Heck, it shouldn't have even come down to that. LSU's usual strength, the special teams, completely fell apart tonight. OK, a big fumble by A&M gave LSU a field goal before the end of the half. But the previously reliable Colby Delahoussaye kept missing short kicks. I don't know how you cure a kicker of the yips, but he's got 'em.
LSU outgained A&M 491-228. The Aggies only had two first downs in the first half. LSU had two different players clear 100 yards and another rushed for 74. LSU had over FORTY ONE MINUTES of time of possession. The fact this game was close at all was completely mystifying. LSU dominated this game, but couldn't turn that advantage into points. They made bad plays, committed dumb penalties, and messed up on special teams. LSU shouldn't have needed to get bailed out by a terrible call, but that's the way it went.
In the midst of LSU trying to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory, let's give credit to the guy whose steady play kept the offense moving: Anthony Jennings. This is the quarterback that Miles has wanted him to be all year. He ran the ball effectively, he made good decisions, and connected on a few key throws. No, he wasn't great, but he was effective. Effective is what we needed.
This game had no business being close. LSU did everything they could to try and lose this game. Luckily, A&M tried harder.