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First Impressions: LSU 45, Texas A&M 21

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Not with a bang, but a whimper

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Louisiana State
One last time
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

On its first play from scrimmage, LSU fumbled the football and A&M recovered it. It was a bad omen that turned out not to be a harbinger of doom.

Greedy Williams stopped the ensuing Aggie drive by jumping a slant route and earning yet another interception. LSU then drove the ball down the field and banged home a 45 yard field goal to take the lead, one they would never relinquish.

Just about everything worked for LSU in the first half. The defense forced another turnover, and an inexplicable call cost them a third. The Aggies first two drives ended in turnovers, and their next two went three and out.

Meanwhile, LSU marched the ball up and down the field. Danny Etling had over 200 yards passing, DJ Chark made some big catches, and the backfield of Derrius Guice, Darrel Williams, and even Tory Carter ripped holes in the Aggie defense. Things were humming all the way around.

Yet LSU had just a 20-0 lead because they insisted on leaving as many points on the field as they could.

Jack Gonsoulin missed two field goals, and Orgeron lost so much faith in the kicking game that he opted for a hail mary while in field goal range on the half's final play.

There was also the usual array of inexplicable play calls, missed opportunities, and plain bad officating to keep the Aggies close.

And on a drive aided by a missed funble call and a terrible personal foul call on Devin White, the Aggies converted a fourth down, connected on a long pass, and then scored a late TD to make it a game. It was the third straight game LSU gave up a touchdown in the waning minutes of the first half, giving life to an inferior team ob the way to getting blown out.

The Aggies built even more momentum by getting the ball furst in the second half and finding a wide open Damion Ratley to make it a one score game. The blowout had turned into a dogfight.

Fortunately, this is still DBU. Donte Jackson made the critical pick this time, giving the Tigers the ball and more importantly, a spark. The drive eneded with Derrius Guice in the end zone.

The two offenses spent the rest if the third quarter trading haymakers, finally resulting in JD Moore channelling his inner Lolo Jones and hurdling a defender for a score. Yes, THAT JD Moore. The power of 18, y'all.

And once LSU rebuilt its huge lead, Ed Orgeron took the opportunity to get his younger players some works, particularly Myles Brennan... haha, just kidding. Danny Etling stayed in so he could take a shot at getting 400 yards and Derrius Guice stayed in so he could be on the receiving end of a vicious head shot.

OK, Brennan came in with six minutes left, but he had a chance to play the fourth quarter and get meaningful reps against live action instead of just coming in to hand off.

Even in a clear fourth quarter blowout in the final regular season game, Orgeron could not plan for next year. LSU finished thevyear strong, but failed to set itself up for a run next year.

For tonight, let's just enjoy tonight. Kevin Sumlin likely ends his Texas A&M career without ever beating LSU. And the Tigers successfully rallied from the depths in September to a 9-win season and possible New Years bowl. That'll do.