No. 5 Texas A&M defeated LSU 20-7 during its first game following two postponements due to COVID-19 and for the first time in Kyle Field since the seven-overtime thriller. Here’s what we learned.
Senior linebacker Buddy Johnson ended his final game against the Tigers on the most positive note a football player can ask for, a touchdown. Toward the end of the third quarter, Johnson intercepted an LSU pass and returned it 15 yards for his second career touchdown. His first career touchdown came on a 62-yard fumble recovery against Ole Miss in 2019. The Dallas native also recorded nine total tackles Saturday against LSU.
Johnson said his mindset was touchdown or bust.
“It’s exciting. Being able to make a play for your team like that is huge, it’s huge momentum for not only for the defense but the team,” Johnson said. “I was fired up, I was ready to get in the endzone. As soon as I caught the ball I knew where I was going, I knew where my target was. I’m telling you, there was no other answer other than a touchdown for me.”
The Maroon Goons
Prior to this matchup, A&M’s offensive line “The Maroon Goons” had not allowed a sack on senior quarterback Kellen Mond since the two delivered during the season opener. During this game, the Maroon Goons did not extend its streak of games without allowing a sack to six, as Mond was sacked by the Tigers in the third quarter.
A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said the offensive line was a disappointment for the matchup.
“They got their butts kicked,” Fisher said. “We didn’t play well, didn’t move them well… I [have] got to do a better job in putting them in situations they can be successful.”
A&M opened up scoring during the Saturday, Nov. 28 matchup with a field goal from junior kicker Seth Small. The 41-yarder was Small’s longest this season and the 10th of his career from 40-plus yards out. This was his 44th career field goal, moving Small to fifth for most all-time field goals by an Aggie. Small also made a 40-yard field goal to end the first half and made both of the attempted extra points.
Fisher said Small was a key player in A&M’s victory over the Tigers.
“The first kick was very important,” Fisher said. “The kick before the half was really critical too… He’s had a really nice year [and] done a nice job.”
A near shutout
Formerly dubbed “The Wrecking Crew” in the 1980s, A&M’s defense was on full display against LSU. The Aggies almost held the Tigers to zero points, only allowing them to score one touchdown late in the fourth quarter. A&M’s defense also put up 56 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions.
Despite the near shutout, senior defensive end DeMarvin Leal said both teams putting points on the board is part of the SEC.
“I wouldn’t say that them scoring at the last few seconds of the game is terrible,” Leal said. “I just say it’s an SEC game. Teams are meant to score.”
Mond threw a total of nine incomplete passes in the first quarter. This was followed by eight in the second quarter, three in the third quarter and three in the fourth. Partially due to the rainy weather conditions, that brought the total to 23 incomplete passes throughout the matchup.
Fisher said the offensive unit was too inconsistent in its entirety.
“Offensively, [we] were way too inconsistent,” Fisher said. “[We] didn’t block well up front, didn’t protect the quarterback as well, took a lot of hits. [Mond] missed some throws that we should have made, quite a few throws.”