Football vs. LSU

Freshman QB Conner Weigman (15) slides toward LSU defensive line during A&M's game against LSU at Kyle Field on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. (Cameron Johnson/The Battalion)

In the conclusion of its 2022 season, Texas A&M did the seemingly impossible and defeated the No. 6 LSU Tigers. With no bowl game to look forward to and a lackluster 5-7 overall finish, there can be a lot to take away from this season of Aggie football.

In regards to the match with the purple and gold, here’s what we learned:

For the Aggies, underdogs equals “Game on!”

Once again, A&M has entered a game with every odd imaginable stacked against them and somehow managed to pull out a win. I reference the Aggies defeat on No. 1 Alabama in the 2021 season. All the statistics and record of A&M’s performance this season compared to those of the Tigers, suggested a LSU dominated game. But in the true spirit of rivalry week, the maroon and white found the camaraderie and will to win that was seemingly missing most of the season, perhaps they should always play with nothing to lose.

Achane’s 80% is everyone else’s 110%.

The match against the Tigers saw junior running back Devon Achane’s return after sitting out due to an injury. In what could be his last game at Kyle Field, Achane made sure to leave his mark, however, and faint limp and player changes between Achane and freshman running back Amari Daniels suggested that Achane may not have been at peak performance. Despite this, by the end of the first half Achane alone totaled more rushing yards, with 18 carries for 119 yards, than LSU as a collective team. Achane proved what may have always been known, that he is in fact the backbone and the battering ram of the A&M offense.

The future has hope.

After the win over the Tigers, it would be tough to argue that A&M does not have the talent to return with a vengeance in the 2023 season. Freshman quarterback Conner Weigman threw 12 for 18 with 155 receiving yards and seven rushing attempts for 21 net yards, sealing the belief that he is the chosen one to be QB1 next season. Even more so, the loss of senior wide receiver Ainias Smith so early in the season allowed for the standout performances of freshman wide receiver Evan Stewart and sophomore wide receiver Moose Muhammad III, performances that flourished against LSU. Even with the likely departure of Achane to the NFL Draft, freshman running back Amari Daniels made his presence known, tallying four carries for 39 yards. Overall, A&M entered the season knowing they had a lot of young potential, now leaving this season, it can confirm where that talent lies.

We’re not fine, this changes nothing.

While the players and fans deserve to celebrate the unexpected victory, it does not change the fact that the Aggies have a lot of work to do this off season. Whether it is in the locker room, the coaching staff or the program overall, this one top-10 win does not cancel out the disappointing 5-7 loss. Nor does it negate the need for reflection and change before 2023’s kickoff against New Mexico.

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