Like most people who were at Kyle Field Saturday night, sophomore wide receiver Kendrick Rogers wouldn’t be able to tell you exactly what happened during No. 22 Texas A&M’s 74-72 victory over No. 7 LSU in seven overtimes.
One thing he can say is that no matter what the call was, he would be ready to make a play.
“I was just locked in,” Rogers said. “I was just mainly focused on doing my job and doing what it took to win the game.”
Even then, Rogers said he couldn’t have anticipated making the game winning reception at the end of the seventh overtime.
“I was feeling amazed, relieved,” Rogers said. “We work hard all year. … This was the first time we beat LSU since coming to the SEC. That was a big challenge for us.”
In regulation, Rogers was only targeted once by sophomore quarterback Kellen Mond. Rogers’ lone catch came in the fourth quarter as A&M was attempting to come back and tie the game with hopes of sending it into overtime.
With seven seconds left, Rogers caught a 22-yard pass at the LSU 19-yard line to give the Aggies the first down, which took four seconds off the clock after Rogers failed to get out of bounds. However, it was a race against time with three seconds remaining A&M lined up to spike the ball with what appeared to be one second left.
Rogers said he attempted to stop the clock but was brought down too soon.
“Once you catch the ball, you’re really supposed to get down and stop the clock,” Rogers said. “As a football player, my instinct was to get out of bounds, which I couldn’t.”
Before the referees could signal the end of the game, A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher argued with the officials to put one last second on the clock. After reviewing the film, the officiating crew agreed.
Mond found sophomore wide receiver Quartney Davis in the back of the end zone, sending the game into overtime after freshman place kicker Seth Small made the extra point.
No one in attendance or watching from home knew exactly what would happen next. Even after the game, Rogers was still at a loss for words.
“Honestly, I still haven’t figured out what happened,” Rogers said.
Rogers had two receptions and caught three two-point conversation attempts in the overtime period. The biggest catch of the night for Rogers came on a successful two-point conversion attempt at the end of the seventh overtime that sealed the victory for A&M.
Rogers said leading up to the game the focus was on making sure team members were ready to make the plays needed to win. Then it came down to being able to execute those plays in real game time.
“Preparation and what we do throughout the week every week,” Rogers said. “Listening to what Jimbo says every week. Big time players come out in big time games.”
Before Rogers’ game-winning reception, he made a play in the third overtime that highlighted his play extending ability and was even featured on ESPN. As he was being pulled to the ground in the end zone by an LSU defender, Rogers was able to haul in the catch to send the game into a fourth overtime.
Fisher said while he was glad that Rogers came through for the team late in the game, he wished that Rogers would do that on a more regular basis.
“I’ve got to find him in other times,” Fisher said. “He can be one heck of a football player. The plays he made, the things he did — coming out in those times and making critical plays.”