NEWS

LSU set to host the explosive Aggies

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Anthony Johnson and the LSU defense will try to contain Heisman winner Johnny Manziel. Photo by LSUsports.net.

Tomorrow, LSU will try to avoid their first regular season of four or more losses since 2008, but it won't be easy. They'll welcome in Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel and his lethal Aggie offense.

Texas A&M has scored 40 or more points in all 10 games this year and average 49 points per contest overall.

Manziel has been the catalyst of this attack--producing 3,922 total yards and 39 touchdowns.

Most of his success in the passing game has been sparked by receiver Mike Evans with a team-high 1,263 yards and 12 touchdowns through. His play has many touting him as a dark horse Heisman candidate.

But as pass-happy as the Aggies have been this season, they can still run the ball with anyone. They rank 34th in the nation when it comes to the ground attack.

Manziel leads the attack with 611 yards, but Ben Malena compliments him well with 476 yards of his own.

This Texas A&M offense will pose serious problems for an LSU defense that just gave up 38 points for the second time this season. That hadn't happened since 2008. The Tigers have only given up 38 or more points six times during Les Miles' nine-year tenure.

The same problems that haunted the LSU "D" throughout the year really emerged and crippled them against Alabama.

Lack of a pass rush was on full display as they were only able to sack A.J. McCarron once the whole game and never registered another QB hurry.

Another secondary bust resulted in a big play in the passing game for the Tide. Early in the second quarter, McCarron hit freshman tight end O.J. Howard on a routine slant, and he took it 52 yards for a touchdown.

But the most frustrating trend that reared its ugly head for LSU was their inability to stop the run.

The Tigers were only ranked No. 50 against the run going into the game, and that rank was certainly not helped by their performance against Bama.

The Tide dominated the line of scrimmage in the second half and rattled off 193 rushing yards. T.J. Yeldon led the charge with 25 carries for 133 yards and two scores.

However, as much as the LSU defensive unit has struggled, they haven't had anything close to the deficiencies the Aggie "D" has endured this year.

Texas A&M is giving up 31 points a game, and they've surrendered at least 33 points in all six SEC games. In three of those games, they gave up more than 41 points.

The LSU offense fell out of rhythm in the second half of the Alabama game but in the first half, they put up 232 yards against a top-10 unit.

They have all of the weapons they need to be able to score against the Aggies. They're still averaging 38 points a game.

Jarvis Landry is just 28 yards away from joining Odell Beckham Jr. as the Tigers' second 1,000-yard receiver, and Jeremy Hill is just 36 yards away from the 1,000-yard rushing barrier.

Against Alabama, Zach Mettenberger was proficient when he had time to throw. Against a good Alabama defense, he went 16-23 for 241 yards and a score. It ended a two-game stretch where he had thrown five interceptions.

Mettenberger and the rest of that offense will have to be firing on all cylinders come Saturday if they want to keep up with "Johnny Football."

Another thing they must do is avoid turnovers. They have turned the ball over at least once in every game this year.