LSU's Keys to the Game: Texas A&M

TSD gives its three keys to victory for LSU when the Tigers face Texas A&M on Thursday: Establish the run game; Limit Myles Garrett's impact; Pressure Kyle Allen early and often

Establish the run game


LSU has won 13 straight games when its had a running back get more than 100 yards on the ground. The Tigers are 45-4 under Les Miles when that happens. So it’s no coincidence when LSU can find success running the ball, it typically finds a victory as well. That didn’t happen against Arkansas as the Tigers racked up only 101 yards rushing in Fayetteville. By now we know LSU’s offensive identity, and that’s dominating the trenches and pounding it at a loaded defensive front. The Aggies are the second worst SEC team in defending the run, surrendering 208.9 rushing yards per game. The Tigers’ offensive line will have more time to gel following the injuries that hurt them last week. That should help LSU win that battle, and as the stats show us, that will also likely mean a victory.

Contain A&M’s best defensive player


Texas A&M’s defense doesn’t exactly strike fear in its opponents. The Aggies are No. 13 in the SEC in run defense, No. 13 in pass defense and dead last in total defense. But there is one player on that Aggie unit that can change the game. Freshman Myles Garrett has lived up to his five-star billing and then some. He’s No. 2 in the conference with 11 sacks, No. 5 in the conference with 12.5 tackles for loss and he’s also got nine QB hurries to his credit. The Aggies will move him to both sides of the defensive line, so both La’El Collins and Jerald Hawkins will have to be ready for him. Look for the Tigers to give both tackles help from the tight end and guard spots, but if LSU can minimize Garrett’s impact, there isn’t much else threatening about the A&M defense.

Pressure the freshman quarterback


The nation’s No. 1 QB in the 2014 class is 2-1 as a starter for the Aggies, including a huge win at Auburn in his second career start. He’s thrown for a combined 514 yards and seven touchdowns in his two SEC starts. He’s thrown an interception in each of his last three games, and was sacked three times against Louisiana-Monroe — a 21-16 win for A&M — and also against Missouri — a 35-28 loss. The best way to rattle a young quarterback is to get in his face often. Expect LSU to mix up the blitz packages and look for both Danielle Hunter and Jermauria Rasco to be steady presences in the backfield. If they can force Allen to struggle, that’ll greatly limit what the Aggies can do on offense.



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