Weekend Spotlight: Texas A&M at LSU
No. 12 Texas A&M (8-2, 4-2 SEC) at No. 22 LSU (7-3, 3-3 SEC)
LSU leads the series 28-19-3 (Last Meeting October 20, 2012: LSU 24, Texas A&M 19)
Quarterback Johnny Manziel makes his first visit to Tiger Stadium as the Aggies travel to LSU for a Saturday afternoon SEC showdown. With a win, Manziel would have a victory in every road SEC West venue in his less than two years as a starting quarterback. However, LSU has lost only one home game in Death Valley in the last four seasons, falling last year to eventual national champion Alabama 21-17. Texas A&M enters on a three-game winning streak, including conference wins over Vanderbilt and Mississippi State, while LSU has lost two of three since defeating then-No. 17 Florida at home. In the team’s first matchup as SEC foes last season, LSU won on the road, 24-19, behind 127 rushing yards from RB Jeremy Hill and five forced turnovers.
Texas A&M has its eyes on an at-large BCS bid with two remaining chances to make a statement on the road against ranked foes LSU and Missouri. The Aggies lead the SEC in many offensive categories, including scoring offense (49.2 ppg), first downs (291), passing offense (379.2) and total offense (578.0). Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel garners the most attention with his ability to make plays on the ground and through the air, accounting for 31 passing touchdowns and eight rushing scores. Manziel’s primary beneficiary in the passing game has been wide receiver Mike Evans who leads the SEC in receiving yards with 126.3 yards per game, while catching 12 touchdowns. The Aggies are the only current SEC team to have never lost a conference road game, going 9-0 since joining last season.
LSU returns to action following a bye week for the first of two home games to finish the season. The Tigers last played a conference home game on October 12, defeating Florida, 17-6. The Tigers defense has been terrific at home, allowing just 14.6 points per game in its five home contests. The offense has been fueled by three offensive weapons: QB Zach Mettenberger, RB Jeremy Hill and WR Odell Beckham. Mettenberger ranks third in the SEC in passing yards with 273.3 yards per game and fourth in passing touchdowns with 20, while RB Jeremy Hill ranks second in rushing yards with 107.1 yards per game. Odell Beckham leads the SEC in all-purpose yardage, accumulating 209.0 yards per game through receptions and kick and punt returns.
Extra point – LSU (57.7%) and Texas A&M (52.9%) rank first and second in third down conversion rate in the SEC.