The season still isn’t over, but there isn’t anything for Texas A&M or LSU left to achieve besides win some respect points and improve their place in the BCS standings, hoping it’ll somehow earn them an at-large bid, no matter how unlikely. By shutting down Johnny Manziel for a second straight year, the Tigers at least got themselves a game in which Zach Mettenberger looks better than an elite quarterback.
There’s only so much one player can do, and Manziel has reached his limit this season on an Aggies team that’s inferior to the one from last year, only starting the season with bigger expectations. LSU made life very difficult for the former Heisman winner, picking him off twice and limiting him to only 16-of-41, containing him outside the pocket as well, running for 54 yards on 12 carries.
LSU (8-3, only 4-3 in the SEC) are Manziel’s kryptonite, so it seems. He is 0-2 with a Total QBR of 21.5 against the Tigers, while Texas A&M are 16-3 with Manziel posting a QBR of just under 90 when facing the rest of the field during his two years at College Station. He was intercepted three times when he first met LSU, but in the 2013 edition of the loss, he had his first career game with less than 50% completion on his throws, limited to only 4-of-14 on deep throws as well. He entered the game, completing 56.1% of such passes, fourth best among AQ quarterbacks.
For LSU, there wasn’t anything special from Mettenberger, as always. OK quarterbacks don’t suddenly have huge games, even if LSU did really pull one on A&M, beating the Aggies 34-10. He completed 11-of-20 for two touchdown passes, but most of the damage was done by the running game. Terrence Magee ran for 149 yards on 13 carries; Jeremy Hill added 76 on 14 and the team as a whole ran for 324 yards.
LSU rushed for 130 of its 324 yards after contact, its most rushing yards and yards after contact in a game against an FBS team in the last two seasons. Magee gained 71 yards after the first tackle, which is no surprise considering the Aggies entered the game allowing 102.2 yards after contact per game, the most in the SEC and fourth worst among AQ schools. It was the fifth time this season they’ve allowed over 100 yards after contact, compared to only three times in the two seasons prior to this one combined.
Johnny Manziel – We just got punched in the mouth tonight and it wasn’t fun. 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.
Les Miles – They look forward to playing a quality opponent with marquee written all over it. Competition: It’s a long word and there’s a lot to it. … This is a team that knows how to play in big games and will fight you. The defense rushed and maintained leverage and we put speed on the field and covered. That’s the kind of LSU defense that we’re used to.
Texas A&M finish the season playing Missouri, possibly ruining the division title for the Tigers. LSU play against Arkansas in a game that means nothing.