SEC season is in full effect and that means that each week there will be heavyweight battles between two of the nations top teams squaring off in attempts to reach the top of the country’s best conference and possibly earn a shot at a BCS title game berth. This week the #6 LSU Tigers (5-1, 2-1 in SEC) will head to Kyle Field in College Station, TX to take on the #18 Texas A&M Aggies (5-1, 2-1 in SEC) in what should be a tremendous battle between a sensational defense and and amazing offense.
LSU is is entering the game coming off of an emotional victory over the #7 South Carolina Gamecocks 23-21 last week and will look to use that momentum in a difficult road game this week, but remember the Tigers suffered their only loss of the season in a road SEC game against the #2 Florida Gators two weeks ago 14-6 so anything is possible in this game. The Tigers are ranked 103rd in the FBS in passing yards gained per game (188.9 yards), 31st in rushing yards gained per game (206.9 yards), 50th in points scored per game (32 points) and eighth in points allowed per game (14 points).
The Tigers can’t solely rely on their terrific defense in this game they are going to have to finally get a big game out of their disappointing junior signal caller Zach Mettenberger. Entering the season there was plenty of hype surrounding Mettenberger and how good he was going to be however he has only produced 1,322 passing yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions this showing proving himself as nothing more than a game manager and not the highly touted quarterback that he was sold as. The Tiger have four players on their roster who have rushed for 240 yards or more including the teams leading rusher Kenny Hilliard (68 carries for 415 yards and 6 TD on the season) who will need to have a much better performance than the 33 yards on carries which he produced last week versus the Gamecocks in order for LSU to keep pace with the high powered Aggies.
The Aggies are entering the game following a major shootout versus Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (in a make up game from August 30th) winning 59-57 where again their defense was exposed as being the weak link on this team. Like the Tigers the Aggies also suffered their only loss of the season against Florida 20-17, however that wasn’t a road game it was in the friendly confines of Kyle Stadium. Texas A&M is currently ranked 20th in the FBS in passing yards gained per game (307.8 yards), 13th in rushing yards gained per game (235.8 yards), fifth in points scored per game (47 points) and 37th in points allowed per game (21.8 points).
Freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel has been nothing short of spectacular for the Aggies thus far passing for 1,680 yards, 14 touchdowns and just three interceptions while completing 67.4% of his attempts along with rushing for 676 yards and 10 touchdowns on 91 carries. Manziel is without question the driving force behind this high powered offense but he still needs to get assistance from players such as running back Ben Malena (60 carries for 380 yards and 3 TD), fellow freshman Mike Evans (36 receptions for 549 yards and 2 TD) at wideout and Uzoma Nwachukwu (11 receptions for 159 yards and 4 TD) especially with wide receiver Ryan Swope questionable for the game following suffering a head injury last week.
In the end I like Texas A&M to pull off the upset because LSU not only looks vulnerable on the road but they just don’t have enough offense to keep up with the Aggies. Texas A&M 31-LSU 17.