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.