LSU vs. Texas A&M result, takeaways: Aggie’s upset no. 5 Tigers and shockingly ended LSU’s playoff bid

No. 5 LSU fell to Texas A&M 38-23 on Saturday night in one of the most shocking results of Rivalry Week. The loss at College Station, Texas marked the Tigers’ third season and ruined any chance they had of making the college football playoffs, despite going into the game as the first team from the four-team field.

The Aggies owned this competition from the start. Star running back Devon Achane fired from 10 yards to cap a 10-play, 90-yard drive midway through the first quarter that gave Texas A&M a lead it never gave up. Achane rushed for 211 yards and scored two touchdowns in an incredible effort that will likely be the junior’s last game with the program.

LSU RB John Emery Jr. scored his second touchdown of the game to level it with 17 early in the third quarter, but any momentum the Tigers had gained quickly faded when defenseman Demani Richardson fumbled a 27 from LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels Yards returned for the go-ahead score. Aggies QB Conner Weigman hit Moose Muhammed III for a 21-yard touchdown in the first game of the fourth quarter to make it a two-point game, and Achane hit on her second touchdown run on her next possession to take the 21st -Build a points lead.

LSU fought back late in the fourth quarter to make it a 15-point game, but WR Jaray Jenkins couldn’t catch a pass from Daniels in the back of the end zone in fourth and 14th with 2:37 left. Achane finished off the Tigers on the Aggies’ next possession to end the game.

LSU’s defense should be embarrassed

The Tigers had been relatively solid defensively all year. They went into the game after giving up just 340.3 yards per game and 20 points per game. Linebacker Harold Perkins Jr. emerged as the star-in-the-making, and coach Brian Kelly gave fans hope that this would be the foundation of the program for years to come. And then came Texas A&M.

The most points Texas A&M has scored in a game this year was 31, and it came in Week 1 in Sam Houston’s shutout. Texas A&M matched that number with 14:54 to play in the fourth quarter. The Aggies averaged 355 yards per game and threw up 429 against the Tigers. On what planet does all this make sense? Apparently the earth.

Texas A&M needed this win

It’s been a miserable, miserable season in College Station, Texas. The Aggies were picked for second place in the SEC West by voters at the SEC Media Days in July, but fell flat on their faces before the leaves changed color. They lost star receiver Ainias Smith to a season-ending injury in late September, their top two quarterbacks prior to November, and their offensive line failed to pull together for most of the season. Things changed on Saturday.

Sophomore Moose Muhammed III caught five passes for 94 yards and a touchdown, acclaimed freshman receiver Evan Stewart added four catches for 42 yards, and Weigman, the true freshman signal caller who came into action in early November, completed 67% of his passes Two touchdown attempt.

That gives Texas A&M hope for the future. It won’t be the kind of hope that warrants national title expectations or even hope that a division title will be within reach. But it’s just a little renewed hope in an offense that has stagnated all season under coach Jimbo Fisher.

LSU couldn’t handle the pressure

It’s almost as if LSU’s identity changed completely when it defeated Alabama. Sure, it won the SEC West the following week, but this team seemed panicked from the get-go as there was a very sloppy 13-10 win over an average Arkansas team. A win over UAB followed, which doesn’t count for much. Against Texas A&M it seemed to be in panic mode again.

From the moment Achane scored to give Texas A&M a 7-0 lead, it looked like the pressure was on for LSU. The Tigers looked sloppy, uninspired, playing not to lose rather than playing to win. It was a complete 180-degree shift from the team, who played fast and loose in the overtime win against Alabama, came back from a 17-point deficit in Auburn and almost 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter against Florida State came back in the opener before the blocked extra point that ended his comeback chance.

Simply put, LSU couldn’t handle the target on their back, and it showed against the Aggies.