No. 14 LSU-Texas A&M clash pits the nation's top offense against a top-10 defense

Wed, Nov 22, 2023
NCAAF News (AP)

No. 14 LSU-Texas A&M clash pits the nation's top offense against a top-10 defense

Texas A&M (7-4, 4-3 SEC) at No. 14 LSU (8-3, 5-2 SEC, No. 14 CFP), Saturday, 12 p.m. EST (ESPN)

Line: LSU by 11 1/2 according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: LSU leads 35-23-3.

WHAT'S AT STAKE?

Other news No. 4 Washington seeks perfection facing Washington State in final Apple Cup as Pac-12 foes No. 9 Louisville looks to end Governor's Cup drought against rival Kentucky, complete 11-win season The Game has high stakes as No. 2 Ohio State travels to face Jim Harbaugh-less 3rd-ranked Michigan

While both teams are out of contention in the SEC West, they are bowl-eligible and will want the best possible bid. Meanwhile, LSU has several players - QB Jayden Daniels and WRs Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas - up for major national awards and will want to showcase them in their offensive and defensive game plans.

KEY MATCHUP

The dynamic dual-threat Daniels and LSU's nation-leading offense (562.2 yards per game), against Texas A&M's defense, which ranks eighth nationally in yards allowed per game (286.5). LSU also is the highest-scoring team in the country, averaging 46.8 points.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Texas A&M: WR Moose Muhammad III had 104 yards and a touchdown receiving last week, highlighted by a leaping one-handed catch, after which he hurdled a tackler.

LSU: Daniels is a leading Heisman Trophy Candidate because he is doing things no one has ever seen before, such as passing for more than 350 yards and rushing for more than 200 against Florida two weeks ago. He leads the nation in total offense with 417.4 yards per game and is just the second player in SEC history to throw for 3,500 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season (Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel did it in 2012). Daniels also leads the country in TDs passing (36), TDs accounted for (46) and yards rushing by a QB (1,014).

FACTS & FIGURES

Texas A&M has claimed three of the last five meetings with the Tigers, including a 38-23 triumph over then-No. 6 LSU in last year's regular-season finale in College Staton, Texas. ... Aggies WR Ainias Smith has produced 22 20-plus yard plays this season. ... LB Edgerrin Cooper has 12 tackles for loss and seven sacks in six SEC games he has played. His 16 TFLs on the season leads the SEC and is tied for 10th nationally ... Nabers and Thomas are among 10 national semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award, meant to honor the top receiver in all of college football. Their 2,445 yards and 26 TDs are the most among any wide receiver combination in the NCAA's top-tier Football Bowl Subdivision. ... LSU's offensive line has been named one of 12 semifinalists for the Joe Moore Award, which honors the top offensive line in college football. ... LSU with a victory can reach nine regular-season wins for a second straight season under second-year coach Brian Kelly, and keep alive a chance for consecutive 10-win seasons including bowl games.

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