The Daily Reveille sports staff shares their thoughts and score predictions ahead of No. 7 LSU's matchup with No. 22 Texas A&M.
10-win season up for grabs | Chris Caldarera
Death, taxes and LSU football winning 10 games. Those were life’s certainties in the not too distant past. In the Les Miles era, the Tigers racked up seven 10-win seasons, including an impressive four-year streak of 10 wins from 2010 to 2013.
Unfortunately, 2013 also happens to be the last year the Tigers accomplished the 10-win feat. LSU will have a chance to end this double-digit winning drought against Texas A&M this Saturday.
The Tigers have defeated the Aggies in each of the last seven meetings between the two teams, but winning on the road against a Jimbo Fisher coached team will be no easy task.
Should LSU defeat Texas A&M, the Tigers will be rewarded with a 10-win season and its first New Year’s Six bowl game since 2011. However, a loss against the Aggies would postpone the possibility of double-digit wins to another mediocre bowl game and result in another lackluster finish to an LSU football season.
Score prediction: LSU 31, Texas A&M 24
Orgeron and Fisher now intertwined | Brandon Adam
Ed Orgeron said it himself. Jimbo Fisher was getting the LSU job. Then Tom Herman was getting it — news even broke saying he accepted the job. And finally, somehow, someway, Orgeron was named LSU’s coach.
The point is, Jimbo Fisher was going to be LSU’s head coach when Les Miles was supposed to be fired, or did get fired, depending on who you ask, in the final week of 2015.
Then for whatever reason Miles stayed and Jimbo never came.
It’s why Orgeron’s success will be measured against Jimbo’s success at Texas A&M going forward. It’s why Orgeron needs this win. If LSU doesn’t win, not only does it knock them out of a New Year Six Bowl, it’s sets a bad precedent for Orgeron going forward.
Score prediction: LSU 20, Texas A&M 17
Passing game more important than ever | Kennedi Landry
LSU has always been known for a dominant run game, and this season is no different despite a slight drop off in production with a more balanced offense.
This week, the Tigers face a Texas A&M defense that’s only allowing 80 yard rushing per game. The pressure will be on quarterback Joe Burrow and the receiving corp to step up against the Aggies’ 104th ranked pass defense.
Even if sophomore receive Justin Jefferson doesn’t play (Coach Ed Orgeron says he’s questionable), juniors Stephan Sullivan and Dee Anderson, as well as former five-star recruit Terrace Marshall will have chances to perform Saturday.
Burrow only has eight touchdowns this season, but with targets like those, he’ll be able to put up a couple more. And he’ll need to for LSU to win this games.
Score prediction: LSU 24, Texas A&M 14
Injuries, injuries, injuries | Glen West
LSU will go into Saturday’s matchup with injuries piling up to a season high, particularly on defense.
Nose tackle Breiden Fehoko was calling for Wendy’s from his hospital bed following successful surgery on a torn bicep suffered against Georgia. Fehoko will miss the remainder of the season. Cornerback Kristian Fulton will also be out with a leg injury suffered against Arkansas and his status for the rest of the season is still unclear.
In Fehoko’s place, Tyler Shelvin, Glen Logan and Neil Farrell have all shown flashes this season and will be heavily relied upon to fill in for the injured Fehoko. Coach Ed Orgeron said freshman cornerback Kelvin Joseph will remain a game time decision but Terrence Alexander and Kary Vincent will see added reps against the Aggies.
Whoever may be playing, LSU has been fighting the injury bug all season and have had guys step in effectively. Tiger fans should feel confident in a good outcome come Saturday as LSU has not lost to A&M since they joined the SEC.
Score Prediction: LSU 24, Texas A&M 20