Tomorrow the Aggies kick off their final game of the 2014 regular season. Amazingly, they can match last year’s win-loss total with a victory over LSU. Anyone looking at this season thinking it was a disappointment might be best to step back and just look what Sumlin has done. The Aggies lost a generational player in Johnny Manziel, two other first round draft picks, and a slew of other playmakers on offense and defense. He replaced those players with the likes of Myles Garrett, Speedy Noil, Josh Reynolds, and Kyle Allen without taking a hit to the win-loss column. The future is very bright in Aggieland.
But first things first – let’s eat some delicious turkey, pack out Kyle Field to the max, and beat the ever-livin hell outta those cajun tigers!
The Aggies kick off against LSU at 6:30PM C.T. at Kyle Field. The game will be televised on ESPN and the WatchESPN app.
Like the Aggies, LSU is very young team that is breaking in a new QB, new RB, and several new WR’s. Ranking 112th in the nation in passing offense, LSU has turned to their heralded freshman running back Leonard Fournette to lead the way. So far he has amassed 745 yards and 7 touchdowns over the season. But his production has dwindled over the past two games. After notching 113 yards and 4.9 ypc in the Ole Miss game, he has only run for 79 yards (3.8 ypc) and 9 yards (1.8 ypc) against Alabama and Arkansas, respectively. If the Aggies can limit his production like Bama and Arkansas, then LSU will be in for a long night.
Defensively, LSU presents possibly the most difficult matchup for the Aggies. Their secondary is filled with ballhawks like Jalen Collins, Tre’Davious White, Ed Paris, Jalen Mills and Jamal Adams (a few of which were cherry picked out of the Lone Star state). So as you watch Jamal Adams and Ed Paris play more aggressive pass defense than you’ve seen from the Ags all season, try not to imagine all the possibilities had they picked the Aggies over LSU. In all, the Tigers have held teams to just 16.4 points per game (5th best in the nation) and 164 passing yards per game (6th best in the nation). Meanwhile, the Aggies are averaging 36 points per game (36th best in the nation) and 321.2 passing yards (10th best in the nation). Something’s got to give.
Texas A&M Preview
The A&M program has had a rollercoaster of a season, but the seniors have provided a steady presence throughout for this young squad. Often overlooked, but perhaps none more important is Malcome Kennedy. The 4 year letterman has quietly become the 2nd highest in receiving yards (526) and tied for 2nd most in touchdown passes (4). Many didn’t realize his impact on the offense until injury kept him out of the Mississippi State and Ole Miss games. Essentially, the offense came to a screeching halt without his presence in the middle. The Aggies will need a big game from this senior on Thursday.
Defensively, the Aggies will be counting on their leading tackler Howard Matthews. The senior safety has been instrumental in helping the Aggies against the run. And especially with the Aggies down two starting linebackers in Josh Walker and AJ Hilliard, Matthews’ run support will be crucial. In addition to Matthews, there’s a certain Louisiana native that wants to end his Aggie career with a win over LSU. Deshazor Everett has had a chance to beat every team in the SEC West, except the one from his hometown. The senior cornerback will get his final shot tomorrow and wants nothing more than “to go home with bragging rights.”
In 2012, the LSU game kept the Aggies from reaching the SEC Championship. In 2013, the Tigers served up the Aggies worst loss all year in a 34-10 beatdown. You can bet that Sumlin has had this game circled all season. He wants revenge. He must retake Kyle Field. He intends to send these seniors out right.
Gig Em and BTHO lsu!