No. 15 Texas A&M will be trying to complete a second straight nine-win season when it travels to meet LSU in Death Valley on Saturday night. In its last SEC game, the Aggies lost 29-19 against No. 15 Ole Miss as the Rebels picked off quarterback Zach Calzada twice and posted more than 500 yards of offense on the Texas A&M defense.
LSU has lost three consecutive SEC games and only beat ULM 27-14 in what was supposed to be a cupcake outing. However, five of the Tigers' six losses were to teams ranked at the time of the game. Quarterback Max Johnson threw for 319 yards and two touchdowns in the win over ULM, but the Tigers averaged just 2.4 yards per carry on the ground.
Texas A&M has beaten LSU just twice in its nine matchups against the Tigers since joining the SEC, but both came since Jimbo Fisher took over the program in 2018. The Aggies have not beaten LSU in Baton Rouge since 1994 when Texas A&M was in the Southwest Conference. The last time these two teams played at LSU, Joe Burrow threw for three touchdowns and 352 yards in a 50-7 decimation en route to the 2019 national title.
Texas A&M vs. LSU: Need to know
Coach O's finale: The man who led that 2019 Tigers team to the national title, Ed Orgeron, coaches his final game at LSU against Texas A&M after the university announced that Orgeron would not return after six seasons with the program. Orgeron heads into his final game with a 50-20 record as head coach, including the 15-0 national title season in 2019. However, LSU has fallen to 10-11 in the past two seasons. If Texas A&M wins, LSU will finish below .500 for the first time since 1999. Whichever coach takes over has a long path back to consistent national contention.
Inconsistent year: Texas A&M came into 2021 ranked No. 6 in the AP Top 25 and considered a favorite to challenge Alabama for the SEC West crown. The Aggies beat the then-No. 1 Crimson Tide for the first time since 2012, but crushing losses against Arkansas, Mississippi State and Ole Miss came back to haunt them as Texas A&M fell to No. 4 in the SEC West despite the success. Beating LSU would give the Aggies a chance to win 10 games for just the third time since the Southwest Conference folded, but Texas A&M's expectations were higher.
Dynamic duo: While the Texas A&M passing game remains inconsistent at best, the Aggies' running backs have helped keep the season on track. Bruiser Isaiah Spiller and speedster Devon Achane combine for 1,845 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns behind a young offensive line. The Tigers surrender nearly 145 rushing yards per game, so expect Jimbo Fisher to turn to the teeth of the LSU defense early and often.
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Texas A&M vs. LSU prediction, picks
Both of these teams have been disappointing relative to expectations, but LSU has played very poor football against quality competition. The only ranked win of the season came against Florida, which proceeded to collapse. Texas A&M can limit LSU's running game and make them one-dimensional enough to come away victorious. Prediction: Texas A&M (-6.5)
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