A few weeks ago, LSU still had hopes of competing for a national championship. After losing two of their last three games, the Tigers are just trying to stay in the Top 25.
LSU's most recent loss came two weeks ago at Alabama. While the Crimson Tide were favored as the No.1 team in the country, LSU had been very competitive with them in recent years. In 2013, though, Alabama won big, defeating their rivals by 21 points.
Head coach Les Miles has taken a lot of heat for their struggles of late. The Tigers have fallen to No.22 in the country and have no chance to compete for an SEC title. They are fifth in the Western Division with a 3-3 conference record. However, the Tigers are ready to move forward.
“As long as that room and that program is doing the things I think it should be doing, I can live with the criticism,” Miles said. “I certainly understand it. I enjoy my assistant coaches. They work hard.”
On Saturday, things don’t get any easier for Miles and company. LSU will be at home, but face star quarterback Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M. The two teams met last year in Texas with the Tigers coming out on top. This matchup is different, though, with the Aggies being a much improved club.
“I think there’s a little different team here,” Miles said. “I think there’s some things we are going to change. In the same vein, some of the principles used a year ago are real quality.
Manziel had one of the worst games of his collegiate career in last season’s loss. He was intercepted three times and threw no touchdown passes. The year, Manziel leads one of the top offenses in the nation. The Aggies are fifth overall, averaging 49.2 points per game. They are 8-2, and both of their losses have been close defeats to top competition. They even gave Alabama a scare, losing by one score.
At home, the Tigers have been listed as four-point favorites by most Las Vegas casinos. Neither team has done particularly well against the point spread in 2013. The Aggies are 5-5, while the Tigers are 4-5-1.
Prediction: The Tigers have been a much better team playing in front of their fans, going 5-0 at home and just 2-3 away from Tiger Stadium. LSU had some big-scoring performances throughout the season, but struggled against top defenses like Alabama and Florida. Fortunately for them, the Aggies do not belong in that top class. They give up 31 points per game and have allowed at least 33 to five of six SEC opponents. If LSU can force Manziel into a few mistakes like they did in 2012, they should get back on a winning track.
Predicted Score: LSU over Texas A&M, 38-34