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Behind the Box Score: Yet Another Win Over the Aggies

The exclamation point on a fine season, indeed

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Louisiana State
JD F’n Moore
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Before we get to the box score itself, let’s take a step back and appreciate everything this team has accomplished this season. With the win, LSU finishes the year 6-2 in SEC play. Do you know the last time LSU finished 6-2? 2012.

LSU beat the SEC West champion Auburn Tigers, won six conference games despite having only three home games, and finished up the year in the traditional fashion, by beating Texas A&M for the seventh consecutive season.

This wasn’t a good year, this was a great year. If Ed Orgeron did not at least meet your expectations in Year One of his tenure, then the problem is with you, not him. And more than anything, there is something unmeasurable about this season: it was fun. This is the most fun I’ve had in years, and trust me, I’m pretty good at having fun.

24. LSU’s margin of victory. LSU won three consecutive games by 20-plus points, but this was the biggest margin this month, and it was against the best of the three opponents. Let’s not put too fine a point on it, we own these guys right now.

601. Total yardage. LSU moved the ball effectively all game, primarily through the air. Darrel Williams helped out the rushing totals big time with a 77-yard scamper in the fourth, but for most of the game, LSU had about twice as many yards through the air as it did on the ground. LSU opened this game up by throwing the football, and showed everything the LSU offense could be.

7-78-1. Christian Kirk’s stat line. The guy is too good to entirely shut down, and he had himself a nice game. The key for LSU was keeping him somewhat in check and not letting Kirk be the difference maker. Kirk had a good game, but not a great one. As A&M’s best player, they needed him to be great. This wasn’t enough.

7/9. LSU’s red zone efficiency. Six of those scores were touchdowns. The efficiency itself is nothing to write home about either way, but making it to the opponent’s 20-yard line NINE times in one game is remarkable. That’s an amazing stat. The Tiger offense camped out in the red zone, and even ended the game running the victory formation from inside the red zone.

13. Combined tackles for a loss. A&M had six, four of them sacks while LSU had seven tackles for loss and two sacks. The offenses combined for 134 plays meaning that, roughly speaking, on every offensive play, regardless of who had the ball, there was about a ten percent chance the play was going to lose yardage. Greg Gilmore was the only player with at least two TFLs, as they were spread out among 13 different players.

347. Danny Etling’s passing yards. He threw for 347 yards on 19 of 30 attempts. He also added three touchdowns for good measure. It was a fiting swan song for the senior. He played absolutely lights out.

4. Texas A&M turnovers. You can’t win if you turn the ball over four times. LSU only scored 13 points off of turnovers, so those turnovers more prevented from the Aggies from scoring than anything, which was a pretty big deal, particularly when the game got tight in the third quarter.

2. Snaps taken by Caleb Lewis. You’re welcome, Crackles.