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LSU Spanks Manziel, Aggies
Updated: Saturday, November 23 2013, 07:49 PM CST
Terrence Magee piled up rushing yards the old fashioned way. Johnny Manziel couldn't keep up.
Magee rushed for a career-high 149 yards, LSU's defense pulled the plug on Johnny Football and Texas A&M's video-game offense, and the No. 18 Tigers energized Death Valley with a commanding 34-10 victory Saturday.
Zach Mettenberger completed 11-of-20 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns in cold, wet and windy conditions. Jarvis Landry highlighted his four-catch, 87-yard performances with touchdowns of 40 and 10 yards. LSU (8-3, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) piled up 324 yards on the ground, Kenny Hilliard powering in for the Tigers' final TD from 2 yards out. LSU also outgained No. 9 Texas A&M (8-3, 4-3) in total yards, 517-299.
What was likely Manziel's only visit to Tiger Stadium was among the worst outings of his otherwise brilliant career. He passed for 224 yards and a TD, but completed only 16 of 41, was sacked twice and intercepted twice as the Aggies' road winning streak ended at 10.
Two weeks ago, LSU's young defense appeared ground down in the second half of a 38-17 loss at Alabama, begging the question of how vulnerable the unit might be against A&M's SEC-leading offense, which came in averaging a whopping 578 yards and 49.2 points per game.
Instead, the Tigers became the first to shut out Manziel in a first quarter since September of 2012, and ended A&M's 13-game streak of scoring 40 or more points.
In the first half, the Tigers ended one Aggies drive on a fourth-down stop from the LSU 3. Later, they forced A&M to settle for Josh Lambo's 41-yard field goal after Danielle Hunter's sack. In the third quarter, freshman cornerback Rashard Robinson made his first career interception on Manziel's underthrown pass along the right sideline. Senior safety Craig Loston intercepted Manziel in the end zone in the fourth quarter.
In two seasons under coach Kevin Sumlin, and with Manziel and quarterback, the Aggies have never had less points and yards in a game.
The temperature at kickoff was 51 degrees, with a chilly breeze powering a soaking, sideways mist.
A&M also opened the game driving into the wind, and its passing game appeared the worse for it, be it errant throws by Manziel or drops by his receivers. Manziel went 2 for 11 in the opening quarter.
The LSU offense opened with run-heavy play calling and controlled the line of scrimmage, creating the game's first explosive play on Magee's career-long 65-yard run to the A&M 1. Three plays later, Magee powered in to complete a five-play, 71-yard scoring drive during which he ran on every play.
Landry's first touchdown catch from 10 yards out made it 14-0 in the second quarter.
The Aggies had a chance to cut the lead in half after Manziel's 11-yard scramble gave them first-and-goal at the 9. But on second down from the three, Manziel underthrew an open Mike Evans, and then Derel Walker dropped a third-down pass in the end zone. Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin went for a touchdown on fourth down, but LSU's pass rush contained Manziel and forced an errant throw that left A&M scoreless.
Texas A&M was threatening again after Jamie Keehn's shanked punt went 14 yards to the LSU 26, but Hunter's sack helped stall that drive.
LSU appeared ready to blow the game open on Landry's long TD catch, which made it 21-3. But less than a minute later, Manziel connected with Walker on the left sideline as defensive back Tre'Davious White slipped on the coverage, and Walker scampered for a 51-yard score to make it 21-10 at halftime.