Statements in Red River
Statements in Red River
LSU defeated Texas A&M 36-26 in the Red River Conference, on Saturday, while Oklahoma put Baylor to the sword with a 37-0 shutout in a pair of results that put the Red River on its head.
Going into the weekend, A&M was 3-0 and Baylor 2-0, and both limped out with some issues to consider. For Baylor, the message was, in part, that playing on the road is tough, and just because lost to Texas Tech earlier in the season doesn’t mean they’re not tough. The Sooners put themselves back in the hunt with this victory.
A&M shouldn’t feel completely discouraged by a game in which they scored four tries, but if the Aggies want to win the conference now, they will have to hope someone else does what they couldn’t - beat the LSU Tigers.
LSU thumped A&M hard in the early going. First off, the Tigers got out of their own 22 with a slick open field run that involved four players and several passes. A couple of phases later they got a penalty, took the lineout, and No. 8 Todd Dupre took the throw-in, stood there to set up the maul, and then peeled out all by himself and ran around the weak side to score against a very surprises A&M defense.
Don’t you just love it when a play works?
Four minutes later, LSU barely won a scrum at midfield, flyhalf John Crilly kicked to the corner, and A&M unwisely tried to run it out. The Tiger chase was good they got a penalty, and flanker Brennan Falcon tapped quickly and was over. Eight minutes gone, 12-0. Six minutes later it was 19-0 when they once again used a scrum at midfield to attack, this time sending it wide to wing Charles Mitchell, who cut back against the grain and left Aggies in his wake.
LSU showcased a desire to play open field rugby, and keep the ball alive, and it worked, especially early on. After that first 15 minutes, A&M outscored LSU 26-17, but it’s an 80-minute game, and the Tigers made the first 15 count.
A&M got tries from wings James Graham and Taylor Whistler, one from center Ross Navarro and closed to within five at 24-19, but that quick-strike LSU approach hit them again. Mitchell went on another break and offloaded out of contact to Thomas Wisecarver, and then fullback Terence Alexander left a trail of destruction behind him on a long run for a try and that was basically it. (Braden Hood got the final try for A&M and the bonus point.)
For LSU, they showed they are not only fast, but can move the ball, and burst onto passes to break tackles. They don’t need to be bulky up front when they are so athletic and skilled out wide.