Hoping to remain in the national title picture, the LSU Tigers square off against the Texas A&M Aggies Saturday afternoon at Kyle Field.
The two teams have played each other many times before, with LSU holding a 27-20-3 lead in the series, but freshman quarterback sensation Johnny Manziel was never on the field for any of those games until today.
Manziel leads the Aggies in passing and rushing, and outgunned the nation’s highest scoring offense in Louisiana Tech last week for a 59-27 win. Manziel threw three touchdowns and 395 yards, and rushed for another three scores and 181 yards on the day.
The Aggies held a 46-23 lead after Manziel ran for a two-yard score with 5:44 left in the third quarter, but Louisiana Tech responded with two straight touchdowns and converted a Manziel interception to a five-yard return for a touchdown and the score was 46-44.
Manziel then hit receiver Thomas Johnson for a 17-yard strike, and ran for a 72-yard score with 2:04 left and Texas A&M held on despite two more scores from Tech.
On the season, Manziel has totaled 24 touchdowns and 2,358 yards from scrimmage, and leads the Southeastern Conference in rushing yards.
LSU survived South Carolina last week for a 23-21 to keep their Bowl Championship Series hopes alive. The Tigers scored 13 straight points to start the fourth quarter, capped by running back Jeremy Hill’s 50-yard scamper for a 23-14 score with 5:03 remaining.
Hill totaled 124 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries, and made up for quarterback Zach Mettenberger’s 12-for-25 passing with one interception.
Mettenberger has limited LSU’s already lagging offense, completing just 46 percent of his passes in his past two games, and throwing two picks.
Hill is one of three LSU running backs rush for 100-plus yards in a game this season, and the Tigers are 30-2 under head coach Les Miles when a runner hits the century mark.
SEC sack leader, defensive end Damontre Moore, will be a huge test for LSU guard Trai Turner and tackle Vadal Alexander, who stepped up on the offensive line when two starters went down with injuries.
The Tigers also boast one of the premier pass rushers in the nation in defensive end Barkevious Mingo, who leads an LSU defense that is second passing yards allowed at 131.0 per game.
Betting Odds: LSU is favored by 3.5 points
Over/Under: 52 points
Prediction: The Tigers anemic offense will have serious trouble keeping up with Manziel and the Aggies, even if their defense manages to squelch some of the Texas A&M’s runs. LSU will struggle early and the Aggies should pull away in the second half for a huge victory.
Predicted Score: Texas A&M 31, LSU 24