LSU vs. Texas A&M: Why the Tigers' Woes on the Road Will Not Continue

Ian BergCorrespondent IOctober 16, 2012

LSU vs. Texas A&M: Why the Tigers' Woes on the Road Will Not Continue

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    Texas A&M has pushed to an impressive 5-1 record this season, but LSU is waiting right around the corner to pay the Aggies a visit. The Tigers are looking to pick up the pieces and continue building a title run this weekend. LSU’s road woes end in College Station. 

    Jeremy Hill will be a key for the Tigers offense after a strong performance against South Carolina a week ago. The Bayou Bengals will look to control the clock, keeping the A&M explosive offensive unit on the sideline. 

    This game could be a close one early, but expect the Tigers to pull away in the late quarters. These are the reasons that Les Miles will guide his team to victory and end the road woes that have plagued it so far this season.

Jeremy Hill Is on a Mission

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    Jeremy Hill burst onto the scene last Saturday for the Tigers rushing for 124 yards on 17 carries and scoring two touchdowns. Hill also caught a pass for a 21-yard gain.

    To start the season, Hill was listed as the No. 5 tailback on the depth chart. There was a lot of talent that was ahead of him, and despite LSU’s tendency to use multiple backs, he wasn’t seeing any time.

    A few injuries later and Hill may have worked his way into the starting role for the Tigers. He has recorded carries in four games, but against South Carolina, he turned a corner. 

    Hill is a player on a mission and will be a big part of the LSU offense on the road against Texas A&M.

LSU Defense Will Shut Down Johnny Manziel

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    Johnny Manziel is having one of the most impressive freshman seasons to date. Manziel has led the Aggies to a 5-1 record and a shot at a very good bowl game in the winter. 

    There have been a number of big plays that have come from the young quarterback on the ground, but that won’t continue against LSU. The Tigers defense is the fastest and most talented unit that he has faced to date. 

    The Bayou Bengals are ranked the No. 2 total defense in the country. They are No. 6 against the run and No. 2 against the pass. This LSU squad held Connor Shaw to 177 yards passing and -1 yards rushing. The Tigers also grabbed two interceptions.

    It will be a long day for Manziel, but his success is the key to an Aggies victory. It isn’t looking good for Texas A&M to find a win. 

Tigers Offense Found Rhythm Against South Carolina

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    LSU was far from perfect offensively against South Carolina, but the Gamecocks were bringing a top 10 defense to Death Valley. 

    The Tigers will still able to find success, amassing 406 yards of total offense, 258 of which were on the ground. LSU used four different running backs and even utilized the fullback on three different occasions. 

    Zach Mettenberger was not a force through the air, but he did enough to shake up the play calls and support the rushing attack. This is an offense that is growing and will continue to find its stride against a very mediocre Texas A&M defense. 

SEC West Is Still in Reach

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    This LSU team may have lost on the road to Florida, but the Tigers are still contenders for the SEC West and that journey begins Saturday against the Aggies. 

    LSU will host Alabama later this season in Baton Rouge, giving the Tigers an obvious edge in the matchup. For that game to matter to the Bayou Bengals' SEC title hopes, they must win this game.

    Texas A&M is still very much in the SEC West title discussion as well, which gives the Aggies enough incentive to bring their top game to Kyle Field this weekend. 

    This game will favor LSU, but don’t expect the home team to roll up and give the game away. This will be a fight for a spot in the Western division title talk. It will be a fun one to watch unfold. 

Win the Sack Battle

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    The A&M Aggies are tied for the No. 11 spot in the country for sacks per game this year. LSU is No. 21. Both teams know how to get to the quarterback, but which one will have more success?

    The Bayou Bengals are No. 81 in sacks allowed, giving up 2.29 quarterback drops in a game. A lot of that is attributed a young and inexperienced offensive line that is building chemistry after early injuries shuffled the offense upfront. 

    Texas A&M is No. 68 in sacks allowed, giving up two on average a game. The Aggies have a mobile quarterback where the Tigers do not. That won’t matter in this matchup.

    The LSU defense will have more success in the pass rush and will record a number of sacks and tackles for loss in this game. This Tigers defense has a lot to build on from last week, and it will do it on the road against Texas A&M.