It wasn't pretty, and it took a long time to get going, but the game slowly morphed into classic Les Miles football. After spending too much of the first half trying to get the passing game going to little success, Miles finally went to what the team does best: running the ball and breaking your will.
Leonard Fournette set the LSU single-season mark for rushing tonight and he did it in unspectacular fashion. He relentlessly hammered at the line until he busted a hole through. The big, exciting plays tended to come from Derrius Guice.
Texas A&M is renowned for its terrible run defense, so that seemed to play into LSU's biggest strengths. Les Miles and Cam Cameron seemed to forget that for three quarters, but in the fourth, they unleashed their two-headed attack to break the will of the Aggie defense. LSU drove down the field, nursing a 6-point lead, on nothing but a series of runs (and one screen pass to Fournette). It was LSU football in miniature.
Make them quit.
Sure, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but when you are on the giving end of a series of body blows, it's a lot better than being on the receiving end. There was no home run, just a running it and running it and running it, until Leonard Fournette was holding the ball in the end zone, looking for a ref to hand the ball off to. Game over.
OK, a lot of things went wrong in this game. Brandon Harris was beyond awful tonight, going 7/21 for 83 yards with a pick. And 4 of his completions and 43 yards went to Fournette. Harris has been an asset this season, and he saved his worst games of the season for Alabama and A&M. There's no excuse for the game he had tonight, but it would be unfair to say this is how he's looked all year.
With Travin Dural hurt, no receiver stepped up their game in his absence. Malachi Dupre only had two catches, and Diarse probably had that many drops on the game. The receivers didn't have many chances, but the chances they did have they wasted.
Trent Domingue also had a lousy night, missing three field goals, and one of them from inside the 10. It turned out not to matter, but he missed the chip shot in the second quarter and seemed to fall apart after that. We won't even get in to the fact Domingue kicked way too many short field goals because LSU drives kept stalling out in the red zone.
The defense, however, came to play. After three pretty terrible games in a row, the defense stepped up and shut the Aggie offense down. Outside of one touchdown drive, the A&M offense was unable to do anything all night, rarely even threatening. Donte Jackson closed things out with an exclamation point with a spectacular interception.
However, this night belonged to Leonard Fournette. LSU's new leading rusher in one season. Galactus has come, and devoured the world. If that's the way Les Miles goes out, it was a fitting way to end it.