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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP)--Terrence Magee piled up a career-high 149 yards rushing and No. 22 LSU energized Tiger Stadium with a commanding 34-10 victory over 12th-ranked Texas A&M on Saturday.
What was likely Johnny Manziel's only visit to Tiger Stadium (he could turn pro next year) was among the worst outings of his otherwise brilliant career. He passed for 224 yards and a TD, but completed only 16 of 41 attempts, was sacked twice and intercepted twice as the Aggies' road winning streak ended at 10.
"We just got punched in the mouth tonight and it wasn't fun," Manziel said. "It wasn't fun to get beat like that. We will see how we handle adversity. This team with a bunch of young guys -- we just have to see how they bounce back."
Two weeks ago, LSU's young defense appeared ground down in the second half of a 38-17 loss at Alabama, begging the question of how vulnerable the unit might be against Texas A&M (8-3, 4-3 Southeastern Conference), whose SEC-leading offense came in averaging a whopping 578 yards and 49.2 points per game.
Instead, the Tigers (8-3, 4-3) became the first to shut out Manziel in a first quarter since September of 2012, and ended A&M's 13-game streak of scoring 40 or more points. The Aggies' point and yardage totals were their lowest since coach Kevin Sumlin arrived last season, when Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, became the starting quarterback as a redshirt freshman.
The Tigers gave some credit to Odell Beckham, who's been named a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation's top receiver.
His five catches for 50 yards helped, but it was his work imitating Manziel with the scout team in practice that gave LSU's defense a good sense of how to contain a dynamic scrambler.
"Odell may be faster than the opponent's quarterback," Miles said. "He's as elusive as anybody I've ever known."
The Aggies' Biletnikoff candidate, Mike Evans, was held to four catches for 51 yards by freshman Rashard Robinson, who also made his first career interception.
LSU's Zach Mettenberger completed 11-of-20 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns without an interception in chilly, wet and windy conditions. He found Jarvis Landry four times for 87 yards, including touchdowns of 40 and 10 yards. LSU piled up 324 yards on 55 carries, with Magee and Kenny Hilliard each powering in for short scores. LSU also outgained Texas A&M in total yards, 517-299.
"With the weather conditions tonight, that was something that kind of had to happen," Magee said. "We wanted to keep Johnny off the field and the only way to do that was to keep the ball on the ground and let the clock run."
LSU finished with a time-of-possession advantage of 40:19 to 19:41. That kept the defense fresh, and it showed.
In the first half, the Tigers ended one Aggies drive by pressuring Manziel into an errant pass on a fourth-down stop from the LSU 3. Later, Danielle Hunter's sack forced A&M to settle for Josh Lambo's 41-yard field goal. Senior safety Craig Loston intercepted Manziel in the end zone in the fourth quarter.
"We were not able to stay on the field offensively. Because of that our defense just got grounded down. You have got to give LSU credit across the board," Sumlin said. "Offensively, LSU stuck to their plan and I thought our defense held up for a long time, but we gave up a couple of big plays that separated it. That's something we need to learn from.
"You get on the road and the crowd gets into it; I thought we started pressing a little bit offensively," Sumlin added.
The temperature at kickoff was 51 degrees, with a chilly breeze powering a soaking, sideways mist.
A&M also opened the game driving into the wind, and its passing game appeared the worse for it as Manziel went 2 for 11 in the first quarter, an omen of a tough day ahead.
The LSU offense opened with run-heavy play calling and controlled the line of scrimmage, creating the game's first explosive play on Magee's career-long 65-yard run to the A&M 1. Three plays later, Magee powered in to complete a five-play, 71-yard scoring drive during which he ran on every play -- and the Tigers had the lead for good.
ABOUT THE GAME...
- The Aggies fall to 8-3 overall and 4-3 against the SEC.
- It was the first loss for the Aggies away from Kyle Field since Nov. 12, 2011 (53-50 OT loss to Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan.).
- The loss broke a 10-game road winning streak, which tied the longest streak in school history (1939-40).
- The loss broke a two-game winning streak over the Tigers in Baton Rouge, La.
- It was the Tigers’ third-straight win in the series, and LSU now has a 29-20-3 lead in the overall series.
- Senior WR Derel Walker had five catches for 109 yards and a touchdowns, which was his career-high for receiving yards in a game. His previous best was 81 yards against Arkansas in game 5 of 2013. He finished with a game-high 130 yards on six catches.
- The Aggies were held scoreless on their first two offensive series for the first time since the SMU game on Sept. 15, 2012, which is a span of 21 games. The Aggies were held scoreless in the entire first quarter for the first time since that same SMU game.
- It was just the second time in 24 games under head coach Kevin Sumlin that the Aggies did not score first.
- The Aggies surpassed the 6,000 yard plateau for the fourth time in school history. The Aggies surpassed the 500-point level for the season for the third time in school history. A&M eclipsed the 4,000-yard level in passing yards for the second time in school history.
- It was the first double-digit loss of the Kevin Sumlin era at Texas A&M. The 24-point margin of defeat was the largest margin of defeat since falling to Oklahoma 65-10 in 2009.
- It was the first time the Aggies failed to score 20 points since last year’s LSU game (24-19 loss). LSU is the only team to hold Sumlin’s Aggies under 20 points in a game. It was A&M’s lowest point output since the Aggies’ 9-6 win over Nebraska in 2010.
- It was the first time since last year’s Alabama game that the Aggies failed to score 40 points, breaking a streak of 13 straight games with 40. It was the longest streak in FBS.
- Sophomore QB Johnny Manziel generated 278 total yards with 224 passing yards and a team-high 54 rushing yards. It was the first time he didn’t generate 300 total yards in a start since the third game of his career, a span of 19 straight games (252 yards vs. South Carolina State on Sept. 22, 2012).
- Manziel surpassed 4,000 total yards for the season, becoming the first Aggie to do it twice.
- The Aggies gained a season-low 299 yards, which broke a nine-game streak of 500-yard games (was longest in FBS) and 22 straight games with 400 or more yards (second-longest in FBS). It was the first time A&M failed to break the 300 total yards level in a game since Nov. 14, 2009 when the Aggies gained 226 vs. Oklahoma.
12TH MAN, POLO, CAPTAINS, COIN TOSS
- For the 11th straight game, sophomore defensive back SAM MOELLER was the 12th Man.
- Wearing the #90 jersey in memory of fallen teammate POLO MANUKAINIU was sophomore ALONZO WILLIAMS (normally wears #83). Manukainiu died in a tragic car accident last summer.
- The Aggies’ team captains at the coin toss were senior captains TONEY HURD JR., BEN MALENA and JAKE MATTHEWS. Texas A&M won the toss and elected to receive.
AGGIES WEAR ALL-GRAYS
- The Texas A&M football team were outfitted in a special alternate uniform combination for the nationally-televised game against LSU in Tiger Stadium.
- Specially designed for the Aggies by adidas, the uniform jersey and pants are a dark gray color specifically called Dark Onyx. The Riddell helmet was enhanced by Hydro Graphics Inc. and was primarily maroon fading to black trim. The helmet featured the popular Lone Star logo that combines the outline of the state of Texas with the traditional Texas A&M logo
- The jersey and pant used adidas’ Shockweb technology, and the Shockwave pattern used on the jersey carried over to the helmet. The uniform had a coordinating base layer component, and the Aggies were be wearing special adidas Quickframe cleats.
- It’s the first time during the modern era of Texas A&M football that the Aggies have won an all-gray uniform, although the team has occasionally worn gray pants.
TEXAS A&M HEAD COACH KEVIN SUMLIN QUOTES
Opening statement …
“I thought that was a really, really hard football game, and you have to give LSU a lot of credit across the board. I felt that we had a chance right there before the half to get something going and come back out in the third quarter. Obviously, we weren’t good enough on third downs. I said before the game that we’re two of the better third down conversion teams in the country playing tonight, and (LSU) showed why they’re the No. 1 third down conversion team. We weren’t able to stay on the field offensively, and because of that, our defense got grinded down. You have to give LSU credit across the board. I felt that they did some things to us defensively. We couldn’t make enough plays in the game offensively to get in the rhythm of any sort. We have to give them credit for that, and offensively, they stuck to their plan. I thought our defense held up for a long time but gave up a couple big plays that separated us. That’s something that we need to learn from. I think you get on the road and the crowd gets into it. I thought we started pressing a little bit offensively, and that showed.”
On Texas A&M defense …
“Everything works together. You can’t keep sending them back out here, and three-and-outs. Everybody’s used to it; our team is used to it. We’re able to score points, and when we moved the ball we stalled out. We didn’t have a lot of footing penalty-wise. They came at some inopportune times, but everything works together when you have a defensive unit like that playing hard, and you gave up a couple big plays. Really in the first half as a team, we didn’t help (the defense) offensively. I thought kicking game wise, we started off pretty good. As we moved down the field, we weren’t able to put the ball in the end zone. All of those things work together, you ask your defense to keep going, and they went out there probably about as long as they could.”
On problems with offense …
“It’s a combination of things. It’s not like (LSU) played one defense the whole night. Sometimes, it’s one thing here or there. That’s why you have to give them credit. They were mixing up things and playing man-to-man, challenging receivers and there were some calls that could go either way. I know both sides were complaining during the game about the contact down the field with receivers. For the most part, that’s how they’re going to call the game. You have to adjust and play that way. We were challenged. We lost Malcome Kennedy, who’s been a big part of what we do right there in the middle of the field. I tried to move Travis Labhart into his position and bring LaQuvionte Gonzalez in to play Labhart’s position. There were a couple times out there where we had some side adjustments and some things there with different people in positions playing that really didn’t work out. It was a combination of things, but those are all excuses. Like I said, across the board, you have to give LSU credit for the way they played tonight.”
TEXAS A&M PLAYER QUOTES
QB Johnny Manziel
On the offensive struggles…
“You have to come out and establish a tempo, get some things going, and we could never really get it going. You have to give a lot of credit to them. They came out and mixed a lot of things up. They kept us guessing, and it really took us awhile to figure it out. You have to give a lot of credit to them. They have a very talented defense regardless of how their season’s gone. I think they came out and played a heck of a game defensively scheme-wise and all. They continued to get a free rusher at will. We’ve got to get back to the basics, the fundamentals of pitch and catch and throwing the football around. If we don’t establish that and don’t get that going, we don’t have much chance.”
On the wind affecting his throws…
“I didn’t really notice it that much. I felt like I had Mike [Evans] on a deep route where he did a great job of getting open. It’s a throw that I make 95 percent of the time, and it’s what we work on every week. If anything, it took off a little more than not flying. There was a third down to Malcome [Kennedy] in between on an out route that it hit him a little bit lower of where I wanted to put it, and he just dropped it. There were times where we really needed to execute, make some plays, and we just didn’t make them. They did a great job of containing our high-tempo, high-powered offense.”
On his thumb injury affecting his play…
“It’s been a factor throughout the past couple of weeks, but I had nothing to do. I felt like I came out and spun the ball pretty well. We just didn’t get the pitch and catch that we wanted and completing passes. It’s not many times that we come into halftime to look at the stat sheet and it’s 8-for-22 [passing]. A big thing for me is getting completions early and some of the other games we go 10-for-10, 7-for-8 and start completing some high percentage passes. That’s what we do, and we have to do that to be successful. Having a lot of drops and incomplete passes – both on my part and the offense – it can’t happen and make for a good outcome.”
On the frustration of not getting anything going on offense…
“It was just one of those days. We came in with a lot of energy and excitement. It had nothing to do with being on the road or the rowdiness. We just didn’t play fundamental football like we needed to. That’s the bottom line.”
WR Travis Labhart
On the outcome of the game…
“We arrived and had a lot of good energy. Early on, like Johnny said we had trouble getting down the field, and we’re a team that likes to start fast. We didn’t do that tonight and a lot of credit to them for making us change up our game plan and who we are. We have to be able to overcome adversity, and we weren’t able to do that tonight. Individually, you can’t take anything away from them. In man coverage, they did a good job, they got to the quarterback, [and] they tackled well and defended balls. We have to make more plays. We just weren’t able to do that tonight.”
On the loss coming off of a bye week…
“Every game you lose is frustrating. You always look back and try to figure out the things you could have done or that you didn’t do. During the bye week, I think we practiced well. We were able to get things accomplished and get people back healthy. We worked hard in the bye week. A lot of games are lost during practice, but I don’t think we did that this week. We just got out here and things weren’t clicking.”
TEXAS A&M DEFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
DL Julien Obioha
On LSU getting long conversions…
“They were giving the ball to number 80 and number three. During the bye week this week, we stressed that we needed to make sure that Zach [Mettenberger] could not get the ball to number 80 and number three. I think nearly every third down they converted was to one of those receivers. We did not do a good job of locking them up and containing them. I tip my hat to Jarvis [Landry]. He did a great job. I tip my hat to Odell Beckham and everyone on their offense.”
On his coming home to Louisiana…
“I knew a lot of guys on the team. I knew a lot of people in those stands. That was not the message I wanted to send tonight.”
On LSU’s run game…
“We knew what we were getting into. The type of offense LSU is is usually run-run-pass. So, we expected a lot of runs from LSU. We knew that had a talented back and talented offensive line. We expected runs coming into today’s ball game. I grew up watching LSU football so I knew that had a talented back. I know they do not have just one running back; they have a feature of running backs. So, I was not surprised Terrance Magee got in the game, Alfred Blue got in the game, or that Jeremy Hill got in the game. I knew that they were going to have four good running backs to hand the ball off to.”
On LSU’s offense…
“Mettenberger just did a good job of avoiding the pressure and getting the ball to Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham. There were a dawn of good plays. Their two receivers just kept getting open.”
On next week’s game against Missouri…
“Now it is all about Missouri. I know this loss hurts. Guys are very disappointed with the way that we played today. It is all about Missouri now, we cannot do anything about the game today.”
LSU HEAD COACH LES MILES
“First of all, I want to say congratulations to Kevin Sumlin. What a magnificent team he’s got. That quarterback is very special. They played extremely hard. Again, congratulations to those Aggies and those Aggie fans. Sometimes as a head coach, you keep asking your defensive staff ‘you need to do this, you need to do this, you need to do this,’ so many times that the defensive staff says, ‘We got that, we understand that.’ The handling of the head coach in allowing me to participate but not overwhelm is just what they did. I just want you to know John Chavis, Brick Haley, Corey Raymond; those three were spectacular in that game. At halftime, [Chavis] talked to the defense and here’s what he said: he said, ‘Listen, it’s not the scheme. It’s the great effort and energy of the guys that are playing for LSU on defense.’ He said, ‘You’ve got 30 more minutes and you’ve got to play just like that.’ Hats off to that defense. That defense did exactly that. Offensively, we talked about playing efficient football. The defense was going to get them stopped and we were going to have to possess the ball, to drive the ball, and the only complaint I have is penalties. But we didn’t have a turnover and we kept the ball 40 minutes to the opponent’s 20 and that’s the recipe for victory. Terrence Magee gets 150 [rushing yards]. We have three 1,000-yard performers on the year thus far. Jeremy Hill goes over 1,000 yards rushing. Jarvis Landry goes over 1,000 yards in [receiving] and [Odell] Beckham as well. In fact, Coach [Cam] Cameron and the offensive staff and the offensive line were magnificent. If you looked at Zach [Mettenberger], he did what his team needed him to do and his offensive line, when he went back to pass, there wasn’t anybody around him. He led his team. Special teams did what they were supposed to. It was a team victory. You have to play all three phases. You cannot let an opponent have an advantage in another spot. So way to go Tigers. Nice job. I thought they played extremely well.”
On the performance of the LSU defense tonight…
“You set up the plan and you stick to it and you practice it and you tell them, ‘This is what it’s going to be like.’ When it starts to go that way, they say, ‘I got this.’ And that’s what happened. We didn’t turn the ball over, we got movement at the point of attack. The defense rushed and spilled and the defense rushed and maintained leverage. We put speed on the field and the young corners – the secondary – covered. Big play by [Craig] Loston. Two picks to no turnovers. Lamin Barrow had a big game. It goes on and on. Jermauria Rasco had a big game. That’s the kind of LSU defense that we’re used to.”
LSU OFFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
QB Zach Mettenberger
On the depth of LSU’s offense tonight…
“There are so many guys that can help us offensively. We are so deep in every position. Even when Odell (Beckham) and Jarvis (Landry) aren’t having their best game, others guys step up and make big plays for us. All of our running backs are great. Honestly, all of our success comes from the offensive line and those five guys up front. When they are playing well, we feed off them. They open holes for the running game and give me time to dissect the defense and get the ball to Jarvis and Odell.”
WR Jarvis Landry
On the game plan against Texas A&M…
“Our main plan was to keep (Johnny) Manziel and their offense off the field as much as possible. We did a great job at that tonight and so did our defense. They did a great job of eliminating him from making some of those big plays he is used to making.”
RB Jeremy Hill
On running physically against Texas A&M…
“I think we knew we could have some success running the ball tonight. We knew that the running backs would have to run physically. They (Texas A&M) haven’t faced many powerful running backs this season, and that would be an advantage for us. I think we did a great job of rotating the backs tonight. We kept fresh legs in there, and I think it showed.”
RB Terrence Magee
On his running performance tonight…
“We just had a great game plan in our offensive line. They came out and blocked well, and the fullbacks blocked well too. It wasn’t anything I did. I give all the credit to those guys.”
LSU vs. Texas A&M
CB Rashard Robinson
On his progression throughout the year…
“My progression has increased a lot. I have been working hard. Jalen Mills and the rest of my teammates are always pushing me and telling me what I need to work on. We get extra practice after we are done practicing, so we just get extra work to work on being fundamentally sound.”
On how the defense changed after holding A&M to only a field goal…
“It was a big momentum boost. This defense has been working hard these two weeks. Chief has just set up a great defense. Coach Raymond has been working on us. We were ready to go out and just play.”
On how tonight was big for the younger defensive players…
“It was big. We have a bright future, my teammates and I. We’re just starting to bond together. Every time we are on the field together it is just like clockwork.”
If he ever had doubts about being here…
“At first I had some doubts. After playing every night, staying humble and just waiting for my chance, and trying to get a little bit of work out over the summer.”
On if he knew he was playing start to finish tonight…
“I just go out there and do my best and play to the best of my ability. I do everything I can to help my team out. I just played fundamentally sound. I just stuck to the fundamentals that Coach (Chavis) told me to do and what we went over.”
S Lamin Barrow
On playing against Johnny Manziel…
“Kind of like last year, we did a good job of keeping him on sidelines. Tonight we just did the same thing. We were able to keep Manziel moving around in the pocket. We made him throw across the field and he was not always able to make the throws.
CB Jalen Mills
On the preparation for A&M…
“Just during individuals we would really focus on coming down and tackling. If he (Johnny Manziel) was blitzing or running down the field, we had to be ready. He is a very elusive player. It is very big. We just have to finish strong after this.”