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WELCOME TO OUR NIGHTMARE: BEHIND LSU'S EMBARRASSING LOSS TO A&M & HOW IT HAPPENED

By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

@LonnPhillips


In yet another unforeseen, monumental entry in the recent LSU-A&M series, Brian Kelly's #5 ranked Tigers threw away a chance to compete for a national championship when they were thoroughly embarrassed for 4 quarters at Kyle Field.

#5 LSU losing 38-23 against an A&M team with 7 losses, already out of bowl contention.....that doesn't look right, does it?

It happened.

It wasn't just a nightmare.

Saturday night was not only shocking due to LSU and A&M's opposing program trajectories or the 15 point margin of victory, it was stunning how LSU let an inferior opponent dominate the trenches on both sides of the ball, allowed 38 points to an offense which had only scored a single game high of 31 all season (vs Sam Houston State), and surrendered 263 rushing yards on the ground behind Devon Achane's 200+ yard performance, gashing and gassing Matt House's front with impunity.

Before Saturday, LSU's usually stingy defense gave up just 3 total 100-yard rushing outings, one coming from QB Anthony Richardson.

As a defense, the 2022 Tigers had only given up 200 rushing yards on 3 prior occasions to an entire offense.

Ultimately, Devon Achane became the first player to gain 200 yards on LSU's defense all season.

It was tough viewing, as A&M's offense ended the night 10/15 on 3rd down, QB Connor Weigman hit Moose Muhammad III downfield for 94 yards and a one handed touchdown, while WR Evan Stewart also burned the Tigers over the middle to keep the chains rolling.

Despite strong showings from Mekhi Wingo (#1 graded defender, 3 pressures, 2 QB hits on 3rd down, 2 forced incompletions, 3 tackles) and Jaquelin Roy (12 tackles, 3 big stops preventing major gains, 1 sack & 1.5 TFLs), LSU's defense played their worst game at the worst possible time, recording an atrocious 23 missed tackles and their lowest tackling rating of the season (37.6).

The most frustrating part?

Jamar Cain's defensive line was able to sustain constant backfield penetration, only to miss sacks and tackles for loss in key moments, morphing broken 5 yard losses into 15 yard gains.

LSU's defensive stalwarts had nights to forget, Ojulari only registering a single pressure (his lowest in 2022) as he missed 4 tackles in the backfield, Perkins missed 3 and Ali Gaye's inability to cover the run was exposed once again.

LSU was worn down in a manner we hadn't witnessed all season, but it wasn't merely a loss all on the defense.

When LSU were able to claw their way back into the game, tying it up at 17-17 thanks to John Emery Jr's first 2 of 3 TDs on the night, QB Jayden Daniels made critical errors which cost the Tigers down the stretch.

With the score tied and LSU's defense handing Daniels the ball and an opportunity to take their first lead, the moment that changed everything happened.

Tucking the ball instead of handing it off to Emery Jr, Daniels' RPO fake was instantly recognized with defenders flushing him wide.

Jayden ran directly into two hits, an A&M defender swiped the ball free, and another Aggie scooped and scored, retaking the lead 24-17....a moment from which LSU would never recover.

Finishing 4/11 on 3rd down (echoing the Tigers' 4/14 vs Arkansas), the Tigers simply couldn't throw the football....and when there were openings, Daniels missed his receivers.

Once the deficit forced Jayden Daniels to throw the ball, our quarterback still opted for his legs to lead LSU back in the game....a strategy which opened Daniels up to a variety of brutal hits, injuring his ankle while also taking another nasty shot directly to the knee.

Beat up by the end of 4 quarters, Daniels will wake up sore on Sunday, yet he'll also rise with a feeling of disappointment in his own performance.

When Daniels needed to throw LSU back into a game, he wasn't capable;

Possessing an illustrious receiving corps who ran solid routes with separation for most of the night, Daniels still refused to throw the football with any command.

Allergic to tossing 50/50 balls, proving incapable of passing receivers open or into space, throwing the ball with a profound fear, afraid of making a mistake....all symptoms of Daniels' lack of passing confidence.

What was once Daniels only deficiency is now becoming 2022 LSU's Achilles heel as the calendar turns to the penultimate showdown vs #1 Georgia.....and you know Kirby Smart was taking notes last night.

Daniels let A&M off the hook with his decision making and timing:

For one example, on a night where Nabers, Boutte and Bech were catching everything their way, Daniels instead opted for Kyren Lacy on a trio of critical 3rd down targets, resulting in 2 drops and 1 catch which didn't convert.

0/3 on 3rd down right there....

Game by game, we see the same profligate numbers from this LSU receiving corps....however, the lack of production isn't their fault:

Boutte: 43 yards, 4 catches, 4 targets....0 TDs...

Bech: 15 yards, 1 catch, 2 additional uncatchable targets....

Nabers: 69 yards, 7 catches, missed on a couple throws downfield.

Jenkins dropped a touchdown after failing to "survive the ground" (looked like a touchdown to me).

It wasn't enough and never will be.

For almost an entire regular season, LSU's defense and rushing attack masked Jayden Daniels' inability to throw the ball; but after this crushing loss, LSU's dire aerial situation was ruthlessly exposed.

For a team that was finding every which way to win games, Brian Kelly's Tigers couldn't figure out how to overcome college football's most toxic dumpster fire program.....

....but college football doesn't always make sense...it follows no rules, no rhyme, no reason.....college football is a law unto itself, where anyone is truly beatable on any day.

A harsh lesson for LSU to learn as they dust themselves off and try to turn spoiler themselves vs. Georgia.

Geaux Tigers.


OUR POSTGAME REACTION


By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

@LonnPhillips

©️ 2022 Uninterrupted Writings

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