Ronald Martinez

Texas A&M vs. LSU: Tigers pull out win

LSU came back from a 12-0 first half deficit behind a strong running game and a ball-hawking defense to stay alive in the SEC title race with a 24-19 victory over the Aggies in College Station.

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Aggies squander another chance to get a big win

The Texas A&M Aggies missed a big opportunity for a statement victory on Saturday, says Good Bull Hunting's Ranger222. The Aggies' 24-19 loss to the LSU Tigers followed the same formula of other recent big games at Kyle Field: A&M took a sizable lead early, then gradually let it slip away.

Offensive coordinator Kliff Klingsbury's playcalling was a problem, according to GBH, especially after the Aggies jumped out to a two-score lead.

I really thought we would see an expanded playbook today. I found out we really don't have that much of a playbook at all. We have the scramble by Johnny (Manziel). The short 5-yard pass. The inside run. The throw to the edge for a yard. The "just throw the ball deep and hope something happens". And the "OH GAWD JOHNNY NO, NO, NO....YES YES YES!". That's about it. Disappointing because with 7 games played, we should be doing so much more with the talent we have on offense.

Four turnovers didn't help the cause on offense, either. The offense executed poorly, and that was no more evident than in an important series late in the game, which could have changed the outcome of the contest.

...down 17-12 late, Trey Williams' runback inside the twenty gave A&M life it dearly needed. With a dime look, A&M elected to run a QB sneak. It was there; Johnny just decided to run into one of his lineman. A botched snap and a poor pass later, you are faced kicking a chip-shot field goal and missing, sucking all the momentum out of Kyle.

Placekicker Taylor Bertolet compounded the offense's problems by missing two field goals and an extra point. However, GBH doesn't blame him, but rather an ankle injury that the coaching staff has failed to properly address.

Bertolet has been reportedly fighting a bum ankle for about a month. If your kicker is in fact hurt, you do have other kickers on your roster, especially for a home game. In fact, if you look at the A&M roster, you see 5 placekickers listed. Davis Plowman was the kicker who competed with Bertolet throughout all of fall camp. Give the young man a chance.

Bertolet, Manziel and the Aggies have a week to get their heads straight before traveling to Auburn for a primetime contest on Saturday.

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LSU-TAMU blog reaction: Frustration all around

The LSU Tigers' 24-19 win over the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field was filled with a lot of jangled nerves for both sides. SB Nation's LSU blog, And The Valley Shook, was relieved to get out of College Station with a win, but wasn't entirely happy with the team's performance:

Call it an early morning hangover, call it another sloppy road-game effort and (yes and, because all of these things were true and you really can't use the "or" conjunction) call it extremely mystifying play calling, but still, call it a win. LSU is 7-1 at the bye week, with three of the final four games at home. Bring on Bama, because everything is still there to play for. Geaux Tigers.

The play-calling down the stretch for LSU was mystifying, as they potentially made the game much harder for themselves by passing instead of hammering away with the running game:

The offense managed 219 rushing yards and Jeremy Hill again put a game out of reach with a long touchdown run in the fourth quarter. And yet it still managed a ridiculous 29 pass attempts, including five on a drive that should've been a clock-killer. Even with a gift of a pass-interference penalty, the staff refused to feed the running backs when a long, slow drive could've remarkably cut down on the late-game drama.

On the other side, SB Nation's Texas A&M blog, Good Bull Hunting, was also frustrated. They thought the Aggies had LSU on the ropes, and mistakes let the Tigers get out of town with a win:

Turnovers. Four of them. Let's count:

1) A miscommunication by Manziel and Thomas Johnson on a pass pattern

2) Ben Malena fumble in the two minute drill that gave LSU the lead for good before halftime

3) Mike Evans looking at the open field in front of him instead of making sure he caught the ball leading to a tip and interception.

4) Johnny being Brett Favre on a scramble

As good as he's been this year, they think it was a mistake for the coaching staff to put the focus of the gameplan solely on freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel when facing a top-tier defense like LSU's:

Yes, this offense will break SEC records against the Louisiana Tech's of the world, but can they beat a good defense like LSU? They had LSU on the heels until the weight of the offense was put squarely on Johnny's shoulders.

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LSU vs. Texas A&M final: Tigers win 24-19

LSU's defense allowed an early, 12-point surge to Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M, but that was it until garbage time. The Tigers scored the next 24 points, rattling the freshman into three interceptions and finally getting just enough power going on offense to overcome a lackluster first half. Also, we saw the most Johnny Football play of the year so far (Bad Johnny edition):

Johnnylefty_medium

A&M outgained the Tigers by about 100 yards until the final minute, but giving up four turnovers (plus one right at the end) while forcing none made the difference. (Also: how wild is it that LSU had a plus-five turnover margin against Texas A&M and still barely won?)

In case LSU was wondering whether it's better at running or passing, the question has been answered yet again. Jeremy Hill and company ran for 214, while Zach Mettenberger finished with only 97 yards on 29 attempts, though he did make this nice 29-yard touchdown to Kadron Boone:

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Box score hero: We could go with freshman Hill, who had 133 total yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers, but we'll take Kevin Minter, who had a sack, one of Manziel's three interceptions and a passel of tackles.

Rankings ramifications: The Tigers could vault Notre Dame, Kansas State or Florida, all of whom have tough games coming up on Saturday. A return to the Top 5 shortly after leaving it isn't out of the question. The No. 18 Aggies now have two quality losses, and aren't sure to leave the Top 25 just yet.

Next week: LSU is off, then it's time for the Game of the Epoch Part III against No. 1 Alabama. The Aggies regroup against Auburn, which has just fallen to 1-6 with a loss at Vanderbilt.

Check the national college football scoreboard right here, and look through SB Nation's many excellent college football blogs to find your team's community.

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This story originally appeared on SB Nation.com.

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LSU holds a 14-12 lead after 3 quarters

The sixth-ranked LSU Tigers lead the No. 18 Texas A&M Aggies, 14-12, after three quarters of play at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas. Tigers kicker Drew Alleman missed a field goal with less than three minutes left in the third quarter, keeping the score intact.

Both offenses were kept at bay in the quarter, but the Tigers nearly extended their lead after Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel threw his second interception of the day, ending the Aggies' march in to LSU territory. However, Alleman's 54-yard attempt sailed wide right, despite having enough distance to clear the crossbar had the kick been straight.

A&M entered LSU territory again on the ensuing drive, but the Aggies were unable to capitalize. It was the seventh time that they have been on the Tigers' side of the field, yet the Aggies still have only 12 points to show for it.

LSU will face a 4th-and-5 from deep in its own territory when the fourth quarter begins.

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Texas A&M turnovers allow LSU to lead at halftime

The No. 6 LSU Tigers hold a 14-12 halftime lead over the No. 18 Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas. The Aggies dominated most of the half until two late turnovers allowed the Tigers to erase a 12-0 deficit.

A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel completed 16-of-31 passes for 169 yards in the half, but his interception at the 4:22 mark in the second quarter led to LSU's first touchdown, a 20-yard run by Michael Ford.

Ford had a big run on the prior play as well, rushing for 13 yards on 4th-and-1 from the Texas A&M 33-yard line. Before that play, LSU had been held to under 70 yards of total offense by the Aggies' defense. A&M put constant pressure on Tigers quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who didn't get going until the final drive, which was aided by Ben Malena's fumble in A&M territory. Ford had another big run, then Mettenberger connected with Kadron Boone for a 29-yard touchdown strike to put LSU ahead.

Texas A&M scored on its first drive of the game, good for 75 yards on 12 plays, and was capped off by a 2-yard touchdown trot from Christine Michael. Taylor Bertolet missed the extra point, but went on to hit field goals from 32 and 50 yards.

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Aggies strike first, lead Tigers 9-0

The Texas A&M Aggies struck first and lead the LSU Tigers 9-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Aggies received the ball first and quarterback Johnny Manziel immediately went to work, leading A&M down the field for a 12-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Manziel went completed four passes for 32 yards while running back Ben Malena ran for 41 yards before Christine Michael put the ball in the end zone, giving the Aggies a 6-0 lead after Taylor Bertolet missed the extra point attempt.

The Tigers went three and out on their first drive, getting just three yards from running back running back Spencer Ware on the drive. The Aggies got the ball back on their own 20 yard line and looked poised to put the ball in the end zone again when Manziel got run out of bounds on third down, which set up a Bertolet 32 yard field goal to put the Aggies up 9-0.

Manziel finished the quarter 11-of-19 for 115 yards passing.

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Tigers plan on more no huddle vs. Aggies

The LSU Tigers look to continue run dominated offense against the Texas A&M Aggies, could use more no-huddle offense as well.

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Aggies can make a splash nationally against LSU

The Aggies host LSU on Saturday, with a chance to make a splash on the national stage.

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Lack of media access only ups Johnny Football hype

Texas A&M redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel is unable to speak to the media due to Texas A&M policy, but that doesn't stop people from wondering what the quarterback is like off the field.

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LSU prepares for early kickoff vs. Texas A&M

As they prepare for an 11 a.m. CT kickoff, the LSU Tigers have had to alter their gameday preparations against the Texas A&M Aggies this Saturday.

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LSU Tigers defense won't spy Johnny Manziel

The Aggies quarterback is the SEC's leading rusher and racked up nearly 600 yards of total offense against Louisiana Tech.

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Les Miles: Anthony Johnson expected to be eligible

LSU head coach Les Miles expects Anthony Johnson to remain eligible following a report that claimed he violated NCAA rules.

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Texas A&M, LSU happy to see rivalry renewed

A classic rivalry that began in 1899 will be renewed as Texas A&M are now members of the SEC.

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Is Johnny Manziel a 'young Brett Favre?'

Les Miles will not use a spy to watch Johnny Manziel on Saturday.

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