The annual non-conference November game is out of the way now for the Texas A&M football team as the Aggies handed UAB its second loss of the season on Saturday night at Kyle Field. This week presents a new challenge for the Aggies as they face No. 8 LSU Tigers for an SEC West showdown.
“Good enough is never going to be good enough,” A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “We have to keep pushing to find it because everybody’s going to be coming at you. We’re going to find out because [LSU] is a heck of a good football team. We better have a great week of practice and get ready to play.”
Two years ago, LSU quarterback Danny Etling and running back Derrius Guice were able to light up the scoreboard against the Aggies, putting up 54 points. Guice had a strong night, carrying the ball 37 times for 285 yards and four touchdowns. A year ago, Etling and Guice controlled the scoreboard again, putting up 45 points against the A&M defense. Etling threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns in the Tigers’ blowout victory. Now that Etling and Guice are gone, the Aggies will have to turn their attention to a new quarterback and running back unit.
Ohio State transfer quarterback Joe Burrow has been serviceable for the Tigers, but their offense goes through their running game. The running back duo of senior Nick Brossette and sophomore Clyde Edwards-Helaire has provided prominent performances for the LSU offense. The two have combined for nearly 1,500 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns.
“We’ll have some good things for them, and I’m looking forward to going out there and executing,” A&M defensive end Landis Durham said. “They stay true to their run game, so that’ll be a big component of what we do next week. Like always, we’ll stop the run first.”
The A&M defense is second in the nation in rushing defense, allowing just 80 yards per game on the ground. The talented front seven led by seniors Kingsley Keke and Otaro Alaka have already shut down a few of the nation’s best running backs, including Kentucky’s Benny Snell and Clemson’s Travis Etienne, making the Aggies well prepared for the talented duo of LSU running backs.
“It all starts with practice this week,” A&M safety Larry Pryor said. “We have to have a good week of practice and focus on the little things. We won’t do anything different, we’ll come out with the same routine for practice. We just have to focus on the details this week and that should get us the win.”
The Aggies are led on defense by Keke, Alaka, and senior safety Donovan Wilson. Keke leads the defensive line and has six sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss on the season. Alaka leads the linebacker corps and has a team-leading 68 tackles on the year and a team-leading 12 tackles for loss. Wilson leads the secondary and has 53 tackles on the year and a team-leading two interceptions.
The Aggies and Tigers will battle at Kyle Field this Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network.