How it Happened
The Tigers led just 20-7 at the half and got there with missed opportunities resulting in field goals and a stifling defensive effort by Dave Aranda's defense. The teams combined in the second half for 66 points to finish out the game with a 54-39 win for LSU. Derrius Guice shouldered the load with his school record 285 yards and the Tigers finished with 622 total yards of offense and averaging 8.4 yards per play.
The second half was the story for both teams. After a reasonably competitive first half, LSU seized command in the third quarter and did so well enough to offset a lackluster defensive performance.
The Tigers racked up 346 yards after halftime, with Etling flexing his passing muscle. He threw for 108 yards in the third quarter, hitting all five passes he put up and was a key reason why LSU never reached a third down during the period.
Guice did most of the rest of the damage on his record-setting night with 178 yards on the ground in the second half to set the single-game record.
Even when the Aggies did manage to tighten up, LSU still inflicted damage by converting 4-of-5 third downs to pull away with a half that included three long touchdown drives of 75 yards or more.
What it Means
To say we're not really sure would be an understatement. The Tigers won over the Aggies for yet another time and remain unbeaten against them since Texas A&M joined the SEC, but this win was different. Reports came out during the game that LSU had agreed with Tom Herman to be the next head coach of the Tigers. The win might mean something for the Tigers' bowl efforts, but will it be enough to change what has been reported in terms of head coach? That remains to be seen.
Player of the Game: Derrius Guice
Well, another game, another LSU record set by this Tigers offense. This time, running back Derrius Guice ran for a school record 285 yards on a staggering 37 carries with four touchdowns. With Leonard Fournette sitting out, Guice took the load of the Tigers offense and responded like he has for much of the year.
With Guice's yardage tonight, the Baton Rouge native topped 1,000 yards on the season, becoming the 12th Tigers player to run for 1,000 yards. The sophomore has 1,285 yards on the season and nearly eight yards per carry. Only Brent Fullwood and Arkansas running back Felix Jones had over eight yards per carry and rushed for 1,000 yards in SEC history. As of now, Guice will fall just short of that mark.
There's a lot of questions now with the reports of Tom Herman potentially becoming LSU's head coach. Up next is Joe Alleva having to determine whether Ed Orgeron will remain head coach or if Herman will in fact be the man. For the Tigers football team, the team will wait to find out what bowl they'll go to.