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LSU dismantles Texas A&M... again, 45-21

Danny Etling passed for 347 yards and three touchdowns as LSU closed its regular season with a 45-21 victory against Texas A&M at Tiger Stadium on Saturday night.

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Danny Etling throws a pass during the second half
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

HOW THEY SCORED

First Quarter

LSU 3, Texas A&M 0

Score: Jack Gonsoulin 46-yard field goal. Time Remaining: 9:52. Drive: 59 yards in 9 plays. Time of Possession: 4:06. Key Play: On first-and-ten, Etling completed a 31-yard pass to Russell Gage for a first down at Texas A&M’s 27.

LSU 6, Texas A&M 0

Score: Gonsoulin 33-yard field goal. Time Remaining: 6:27. Drive: 7 yards in 6 plays. Time of Possession: 2:52. Key Play: Donnie Alexander recovered a Keith Ford fumble and returned the ball 33 yards to Texas A&M’s 23.

LSU 13, Texas A&M 0

Score: Gage 11-yard pass from Etling. Gonsoulin kick. Time Remaining: 4:23. Drive: 61 yards in 4 plays. Time of Possession: 1:13. Key Play: On first-and-ten, Etling completed a 49-yard pass to DJ Chark for a first down at Texas A&M’s 12.

Second Quarter

LSU 20, Texas A&M 0

Score: Darrel Williams 1-yard run. Time Remaining: 7:29. Drive: 76 yards in 7 plays. Time of Possession: 2:47. Key Play: On second-and-nine, Etling completed a 56-yard pass to Williams for a first down at Texas A&M’s 19.

LSU 20, Texas A&M 7

Score: Trayveon Williams 2-yard run. Daniel LaCamera kick. Time Remaining: :21. Drive: 70 yards in 8 plays. Time of Possession: 1:05. Key Play: On first-and-ten, Nick Starkel completed a 31-yard pass to Christian Kirk for a first down at LSU’s 2.

Third Quarter

LSU 20, Texas A&M 14

Score: Damion Ratley 45-yard pass from Starkel. LaCamera kick. Time Remaining: 13:20. Drive: 75 yards in 5 plays. Time of Possession: 1:40. Key Play: On second-and-seven, Kevin Toliver was penalized 15 yards for pass interference against Jhamon Ausbon to give Texas A&M a first down at LSU’s 44.

LSU 27, Texas A&M 14

Score: Derrius Guice 1-yard run. Connor Culp kick. Time Remaining: 8:52. Drive: 39 yards in 7 plays. Time of Possession: 2:46. Key Play: On second-and-ten, Etling completed a 28-yard pass to Clyde Edwards-Helaire for a first down at Texas A&M’s 2.

LSU 27, Texas A&M 21

Score: Kirk 10-yard pass from Starkel. LaCamera kick. Time Remaining: 5:21. Drive: 75 yards in 10 plays. Time of Possession: 3:31. Key Play: On third-and-six, Starkel completed a 36-yard pass to Ausbon for a first down at LSU’s 23.

LSU 34, Texas A&M 21

Score: John David Moore 10-yard pass from Etling. Culp kick. Time Remaining: 2:51. Drive: 71 yards in 5 plays. Time of Possession: 2:22. Key Play: On first-and-ten, Etling completed a 33-yard pass to Gage and Justin Madubuike was penalized 14 yards for roughing the quarterback to give LSU a first down at Texas A&M’s 13.

Fourth Quarter

LSU 42, Texas A&M 21

Score: Chark 6-yard pass from Etling. Moreau pass from Etling. Time Remaining: 13:18. Drive: 83 yards in 6 plays. Time of Possession: 1:34. Key Play: On second-and-ten, Williams ran 77 yards for a first down at Texas A&M’s 6.

LSU 45, Texas A&M 21

Score: Culp 26-yard field goal. Time Remaining: 7:53. Drive: 67 yards in 9 plays. Time of Possession: 4:23. Key Play: On second-and-six, Guice runs 23 yards for a first down at Texas A&M’s 34.


TURNING POINT

LSU had lost all but six points of a 20-point advantage when Texas A&M scored on a 45-yard pass from Starkel to Ratley less than two minutes into the second half. The Aggies defense then forced a punt. With a chance to take the lead, Texas A&M turned the ball over as Donte Jackson intercepted a Starkel pass at the Aggies’ 39. Seven plays later, the Tigers had a two-touchdown lead again. A 28-yard pass from Etling to Edwards-Helaire set up a 1-yard scoring run by Guice to put LSU on top 27-14. Texas A&M never had the ball down by seven points or less the rest of the game.


LSU OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME

Etling’s final home game was his best as he passed for a LSU career-high 347 yards and three touchdowns. Etling had a higher passing total while at Purdue. Gage, Moore and Chark – seniors like Etling – were on the receiving end of his scoring throws. Etling completed 63 percent of his passes (19-of-30). He finished the regular season with 14 touchdown passes and two interceptions. In two games against Texas A&M, Etling threw for 671 yards. Etling has passed for 2,234 yards this season. He became the fifth Tigers quarterback with multiple 2,000-yard passing seasons. The other four are Jeff Wickersham, Zach Mettenberger, Tommy Hodson and JaMarcus Russell.


LSU DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME

The pattern continued as Devin White logged another double-digit tackle performance. White had 13 tackles which ran his season total to 127. Only four LSU players have registered more tackles in a single season – Bradie James, Al Richardson, Lawrence Williams and Kevin Minter. White can move higher up the list in the bowl game. White had 1½ tackles-for-loss and intercepted the first pass of his career.


KEY TEAM STATISTICS

First downs – LSU 27, Texas A&M 14

Rushing yards – LSU 250, Texas A&M 55

Rushing yards per carry – LSU 4.5, Texas A&M 2.0

Rushing first downs – LSU 9, Texas A&M 2

Passing yards – LSU 351, Texas A&M 227

Passing yards per attempt – LSU 11.3, Texas A&M 7.6

Total yardage – LSU 601, Texas A&M 282

Average yards per play – LSU 6.9, Texas A&M 4.9

Punting average – Texas A&M 48.7, LSU 39.5

Net yards per kickoff – LSU 40.0, Texas A&M 33.5

Interceptions – LSU 3, Texas A&M 0

Sacks – Texas A&M 4, LSU 2

Third-down conversions – LSU 8-of-15, Texas A&M 3-of-11

Time of Possession – LSU 39:31, Texas A&M 20:29


LSU

Derrius Guice: 28 carries, 127 yards, 1 touchdown

Danny Etling: 30 attempts, 19 completions, 347 yards, 3 touchdowns

DJ Chark: 5 catches, 86 yards, 1 touchdown

Devin White: 13 tackles

Greg Gilmore: 2 tackles-for-loss

Kevin Toliver: 3 pass breakups

TEXAS A&M

Trayveon Williams: 17 carries, 55 yards, 1 touchdown

Nick Starkel: 30 attempts, 16 completions, 227 yards, 2 touchdowns, three interceptions

Christian Kirk: 7 catches, 78 yards, 1 touchdown

Armani Watts: 11 tackles

Buddy Johnson: 1½ tackles-for-loss

Tyrel Dodson: 2 pass breakups


NOTES

Outside linebacker Arden Key was not in uniform. Ray Thornton replaced Key in the starting lineup. Thornton and K’Lavon Chaisson divided time at that position. Toliver and Greedy Williams started at cornerback with Jackson and John Battle starting at safety. Donnie Alexander started at inside linebacker. Garrett Brumfield left the game in the first half with an injury. He was replaced at left guard by Lloyd Cushenberyy. . .Williams joined Guice as 100-yard rushers. Williams finished with 106 yards on 12 carries – 77 coming on a run out of the Wildcat formation. Williams also caught a pass for a 56-yard gain. . .Guice moved ahead of Harvey Williams into fifth place on LSU’s all-time rushing list. Guice now has 2,976 yards. He will finish fifth on the school’s rankings. Guice rushed for 100 yards for the 12th time in his career. Only four players have more 100-yard rushing games – Kevin Faulk (22), Charles Alexander (20), Leonard Fournette (19) and Dalton Hilliard (19). . .Etling has 4,357 passing yards. He trails Rohan Davey, who is ninth on LSU’s all-time list by 58 yards. . .The Tigers extended their winning streak against Texas A&M to seven games – six since the Aggies joined the SEC. Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin is 0-6 against LSU. . .The Tigers are 9-3 overall, 6-2 in the SEC. The six victories are the most in the conference for LSU since 2012. The Tigers finished third in the SEC West – one game behind co-champions Auburn and Alabama. . .Texas A&M ended the regular season with a 7-5 record, 4-4 in the SEC. Under Sumlin, the Aggies have just one winning SEC record – in his first season. There was no news about Sumlin’s job status after the game. . .The paid attendance was 97,675.


FROM THE LOCKER ROOM

Coach Ed Orgeron’s comments: “I’m proud of the way overall that our team played. We ran the ball well and we didn’t let them run the ball. We made some mistakes, but the goal all week was to win nine games with the outstanding goal of trying to win ten. We felt like if we could protect Danny (Etling), we could throw on them. When you look at the improvement in our passing game over the season and the improvement of our receivers, I think there’s a big difference from last year and even the beginning of this season. We missed some opportunities in the red zone and we missed some field goals in the first half. Our offense did a tremendous job in the second half. Our defense was reeling a little bit. We knew we had to score some points to win the game.”


UP NEXT

LSU will find out its bowl assignment on Sunday, Dec. 3. The Tigers will probably begin bowl practice during the week of Dec. 11.