LSU vs. Texas A&M: Score, Twitter Reaction, Grades and More
It certainly wasn't pretty, but Les Miles' squad got the job done.
Spurred by a brilliant running attack and critical turnovers, the sixth-ranked LSU Tigers mounted a comeback and defeated the 18th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies 24-19 to keep their national championship dreams alive.
Down 12-0 at the beginning of the second quarter, the situation looked extremely bleak for the Tigers. However, LSU came roaring back with 14 points in the final two minutes of the second quarter.
The most notable among those touchdowns came on a beautiful diving catch by Kadron Boone for a 29-yard score.
Outside of Boone's catch, the offense was almost solely led by running backs Jeremy Hill and Michael Ford. The two-headed combo ran for 205 yards on 28 carries and scored two touchdowns against a strong Aggies defense.
Meanwhile the Tigers defense did something few thought possible coming into Saturday and stopped Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Though he threw the ball for 276 yards, the Tigers picked him off three times in critical spots and stopped the dual-threat in the run game as well.
With the Tigers getting a vital SEC victory on Saturday, here is a full recap of the game, starting with the tweets of the day.
Tweets of the Day
Though it's hardly any consolation, the folks at ESPN Stats and Information had a great statistic about Texas A&M's success moving the ball against the Tigers.
LSU: First 7 games of season allowed a TOTAL of 191 yards in 1st quarter. A&M rolled up 180 yards in 1st qtr vs Les Miles' team #LSUvsTAMU— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 20, 2012
After Boone's spectacular diving catch, the person running ESPN's Twitter feed encapsulated almost everyone's thoughts while throwing a nice little nod to Superman fans.
With LSU leading at the half despite having a massive deficit in total yards, CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman noted Miles' penchant for winning under similar circumstances with a clever quip.
I think Les Miles could ski down a mountain in an avalanche blindfolded with bear on his shoulders and emerge unscathed.— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) October 20, 2012
While the unit may go unnoticed in the large scheme of things, ESPN's Gary Laney made a point to praise the LSU secondary (while also deriding the team's defensive line play).
Kadron Boone, LSU: A
Regardless of outcome, the catch Boone made was not only jaw-droppingly spectacular, but also put his team ahead going into halftime.
Overall, Boone had just four catches for 49 yards. However, when the biggest grab is a momentum-shifting heartbreaker that gives your team the win, you get an automatic A in my book.
In and of itself, the catch was great, but what it meant for LSU was far more important.
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: C-
On one hand, it's hard to criticize a freshman quarterback who put up over 300 total yards against one of the nation's best defenses.
On the other hand, Manziel made critical mistakes in spots where the Aggies could not afford them. He's the lifeblood of the offense, so when he's not firing on all cylinders, the rest of the unit goes with him.
Nonetheless, the dual-threat will be able to take this contest with him and learn from it in the future.
Zach Mettenberger, LSU: C-
Under no circumstance was Mettenberger even a remotely effective quarterback on Saturday. His passes were mostly inaccurate, which stalled many of the Tigers' drives down the field.
However, he did one thing that Manziel could not: avoid turnovers. This LSU squad will never blow out an elite opponent, but when Mettenberger refrains from coughing the ball up, the Tigers always have a chance to win.
Taylor Bertolet, Texas A&M: D
Once again, hard to rail on a freshman, but the Aggies' kicker went just 2-of-4 kicking field goals against LSU.
That would be excusable in a hostile environment. At home? Not so much.
Jeremy Hill and Michael Ford, LSU: A
Without their running backs, there is almost no chance that the Tigers win this contest. Both Hill and Ford were equally fantastic, slowly wearing down the Texas A&M defense.
Considering Mettenberger's continued issues, it's unlikely that this is the last time these two lead the Tigers to victory.
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