No. 5 Texas A&M finally back at it as LSU looms
No. 5 Texas A&M hasn’t played since Nov. 7.
LSU knows what that feels like.
The Aggies (5-1, 5-1) finally get to play in the wake of the COVID-related postponements of two games when they host the Tigers (3-3, 3-3) in an SEC West game Saturday night.
Texas A&M couldn’t play at Tennessee two weeks ago or against Ole Miss last week. The Aggies most recently played Nov. 7, when they defeated South Carolina 48-3.
“I think our guys are hungry,” Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher said. “They want to play, they miss playing. I think our kids are very resilient. We’ve handled all kinds of adversity because 2020 is an adversity year.”
The Aggies aren’t likely to win the SEC West because they’re a game behind No. 1 Alabama in the loss column, and that loss came against the Crimson Tide on Oct. 3. But that doesn’t mean the Aggies can’t sneak into the College Football Playoff if they win out.
LSU beat Texas A&M 50-7 last season in the final home game of Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow, but Fisher dismissed the notion that the Aggies are thinking of revenge for that rout.
“Any time you get beat, you want to go back and compete and play very well,” Fisher said. “I don’t ever like the word revenge; I think revenge clouds your thinking. I think you’ve got two different teams, two different groups of people, two different years apart. You want to win because somebody had success against you. I mean, that’s just human nature.”
Things have changed quite a bit since that game. The Tigers were on their way to a 15-0 record and a CFP championship last season, but they haven’t won consecutive games this season as they prepare to play their first ranked opponent.
“LSU is always going to get your attention,” Fisher said. “But after three weeks, it wouldn’t matter who we were playing – they would get our attention.”
LSU played for the first time since Oct. 31 when it won at Arkansas last Saturday, 27-24.
“It took everything we had to beat Arkansas, and we did it,” Tigers coach Ed Orgeron said. “Hopefully, it’s a springboard for us to have a great end to the season starting with Texas A&M.”
The Tigers finally got a chance to bounce back from their 48-11 loss to Auburn on Halloween, and they took advantage by holding off Arkansas last week as freshman Eli Ricks deflected a potential tying 44-yard field goal on the final play of the game.
“At some times we looked like an LSU football team,” Orgeron said. “We still have a ways to go, but we have some young players that are believing, and hopefully making the last play of the game gave our guys some relief and some confidence that they can fight through and win.”
The most recent time these teams played in College Station was two years ago, when the Aggies prevailed 74-72 in an epic seven-overtime battle.
The Aggies expect to have about 25,000 fans inside of 100,000-seat Kyle Field on Saturday night.
“It’s probably the first time this year that the crowd noise will be a factor,” Orgeron said.
–Field Level Media