LSU salvaged a respectable regular season with a 19-7 victory over Texas A&M on Saturday. Although it wasn’t a dominant performance, the Tigers did play well and made a few big plays to take control.
The report cards are in. LSU won’t get straight A’s, but these marks will certainly do.
LSU finally found its running game against a generous A&M run defense. Leonard Fournette broke the school’s single-season rushing record with his 159-yard, one-touchdown performance. Derrius Guice pushed the Tigers ahead with a 50-yard touchdown run in the second half.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all good for LSU’s offense. Quarterback Brandon Harris put on his worst performance of the season. He completed 7 of 21 passes for 83 yards and threw an interception. The LSU passing game appeared to have regressed during the final weekend of the season.
Saturday was one of LSU’s best defensive performances of the season. The Tigers limited Texas A&M’s high-powered offense to merely 250 yards. Aggies Quarterback Kyle Allen completed 15 of 28 passes for 161 yards, one touchdown and one interception against the Tigers. Freshman wideout Christian Kirk was stymied to just three catches for 54 yards.
LSU’s run defense was particularly exceptional. The Aggies rushed for 89 yards on 33 carries, a measly 2.7 yards per carry average. LSU bottled up the A&M offense for most of the night.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B-
Naturally, LSU’s return teams did well on a day when kicker Trent Domingue was horribly inaccurate. Guice accumulated 97 yards on two kickoff returns and made one incredible return that might have been the best of the season had it gone for a touchdown.
Both LSU’s kicker and punter had rough outings. Domingue went 2 of 5 and missed a couple of chip shots. Punter Jamie Keehn averaged 40 yards on four punts and his longest punt, a 63-yard blast, was poorly timed and went for a touchback.
Give credit to Kevin Steele for out-coaching his counterpart, former LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis. However, Cam Cameron and his offense struggled to get in a groove. On a related note, Les Miles was brought back as head coach almost immediately after the game, so the coaching must have been good enough.
This was a much-needed win for LSU, but not a great victory. The Tigers will have plenty of things to fix before their bowl game next month.