College Football Week 8: #6 LSU At #18 Texas A&M
- CoachingNot all LSU fans are enamored with Les Miles, despite his track record. Perhaps they want a little more flash, but Miles’ emphasis on defense and running the ball have proven successful.Kevin Sumlin’s comments after last Saturday night’s wild shootout with Louisiana Tech suggest he wasn’t sure how his team emerged victorious. A&M led 27-0 and won 59-57. His team returns home for a pivotal showdown with LSU.
- OffenseIt remains clear that offense is not this team’s strength, but if it ran the ball the way it did on Saturday night against South Carolina, it can compete with any team in the country. The Tigers piled up 258 yards on the ground, 124 of those by freshman Jeremy Hill.The Aggies are averaging 47 points and 543 yards per game. Redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel has put up eye-popping numbers, though the going will be tough against the Tigers.
- DefenseThe Tigers were ferocious in Death Valley against SC, recording four sacks and two fourth-quarter interceptions. Only two of their seven opponents have cracked the century mark on the ground.Sumlin’s post-game confusion last week was due mostly to his defense, which has been sub-par this season. This unit stands to be on the field often on Saturday if it can’t generate some turnovers.
- Special TeamsJunior kicker Drew Alleman continues to be relied upon, especially as the offense stalls inside the red zone. He is 11 of 15 on the season after hitting three field goals last week.The Aggies missed an extra point last week, which could have been costly, and couldn’t handle La. Tech’s onside kick.
Playing at home in front of what should be a raucous crowd, A&M has the firepower to make this a competitive game. The turnover battle will be key, and in that regard LSU has the edge. -Andrew Kahn, College Football Contributor