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Down Goes Everything

Saturday's Texas A&M loss all but knocks Aggies out of the BCS picture
Rod Machen, 11:03am, Mon. Nov. 25, 2013

Texas A&M’s 34-10 loss to LSU was costly in many ways. For the first time this year, it’s the offense who shoulders the blame.

An Aggie defense giving up only 34 points would have been reason to celebrate on most Saturdays, but on this night at Tiger Stadium, superstar QB Johnny Manziel and the offense failed to operate at a level to which they’ve grown accustomed. Manziel (16-41 for 224 yards) was off from the beginning, overthrowing receivers and eventually eating sacks while giving up a pair of interceptions.

While his chances of winning a second-consecutive Heisman Trophy diminished greatly Saturday night, the team’s goals suffered an even bigger setback. With only two previous losses, a berth in a coveted BCS bowl was firmly in sight, A loss to the Tigers put that issue to rest. Indeed, the Aggies now find themselves looking like the fourth-best team in the SEC West.

The Ags went scoreless in the first frame while LSU went up by one touchdown. Early in the second quarter, LSU scored again. A field goal finally put A&M on the board, but the Tigers answered with a 91-yard drive that looked far too easy. A long TD pass from Manziel to Derel Walker make the score a more respectable 21-10 at the half, but the Aggies wouldn’t score again.

The second half was dominated by LSU in all aspects. The Aggies moved the ball at times, but sacks, interceptions, and simply bad play cost them any chance at a comeback.

Next week the Aggies travel to Columbia, Mo., to face No. 5 Mizzou in a game that looks to be at least as tough of a task as the LSU debacle, but it’s the final chance for redemption in the regular season. At 8-3, the loss to the Tigers put the possibility of a ten-win seasons in real danger.

In future years, this will be a rivalry to watch. LSU replaces Texas as the Thanksgiving weekend game, with home contests at Kyle Field to be played on Thanksgiving Day itself. The two teams have played over 50 times through the years, and they battle for recruits every February. The next step is for the Aggies to beat the Tigers in a game with conference implications. That chance won’t come for another year – a long wait after a blown opportunity on Saturday.

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