LSU freshman Leonard Fournette bullied the Texas A&M defense for 146 yards on 19 carries to lead the Tigers to a 23-17 road win on Thanksgiving night, exposing the same weakness that has ravaged the Aggies all season: run defense. While the powerful Fournette beat the TAMU defense at the point of attack, quarterback Anthony Jennings fooled the Aggies on option keepers on the perimeter for much of his 119 rushing yards. LSU outrushed A&M 384-84.
Perhaps no play personified LSU's means of winning the game than Fournette's 22-yard touchdown, on which he flattened TAMU safety Howard Matthews in the open field:
The game marked the return of Texas A&M senior Cedric Ogbuehi to the left tackle position. The Aggies' top NFL prospect on the offensive line was moved to right tackle earlier this season when Germain Ifedi was injured, but with Ifedi returning to the TAMU lineup, Ogbuehi made an impressive return to the left side.
While there has been NFL scouting speculation that Ogbuehi struggled on the left side this season, TAMU coach Kevin Sumlin has insisted the move to right tackle had nothing to do with Ogbuehi's play on the left side. Other than one play on which Ogbuehi was beaten badly on an outside speed rush by LSU linebacker Kwon Alexander, Ogbuehi's night was a very good one.
Another of the top offensive tackle prospects in the SEC, senior La'el Collins, showed dominant form as a run blocker. TAMU star freshman pass rusher Myles Garrett gave Collins some trouble on pass plays, but LSU was able to control the ball with its rushing attack such that Garrett was more often on the wrong end of a Collins drive block.
After a 5-0 start, Texas A&M lost five its last seven regular-season games and finished just 2-4 against SEC West competition.
Texas A&M freshman safety Armani Watts was ejected near the end of the first half for targeting.