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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Aggie seniors look to capture first win against LSU

Photo by Photo by: Morgan Engel
Texas A&M Football

After three years of losing to LSU, Texas A&M will attempt to end the streak by heading into Baton Rouge with their secret weapon: Former LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis. The Aggies will also head into game without a quarterback controversy with sophomore Kyle Allen starting under center.

A&M (8-3, 4-3 SEC) is coming off a 25-0 win over Vanderbilt which earned the Aggies their first shutout since 2004 and Chavis the 11th of his career. The run defense for A&M has struggled this season with the team ranked 104 in the nation against the run allowing 202.5 yards per contest. The defense will have its hands full facing sophomore running back Leonard Fournette who is averaging 158.2 rushing yards per game. The Aggies have improved vastly against the pass and are 8th in the country allowing only 168.4  pass yards per game.

LSU (7-3, 4-3 SEC) opened the season 7-0 and were considered contenders in the college football playoffs. The Tigers averaged 39 points per game over that span and were considered favorites to win the SEC West. Since then the Tigers haven’t scored more than two touchdowns in a single game and are now unranked. Quarterback Brandon Harris has played well for the Tigers this season throwing 1,821 yards with 12 touchdowns and just four interceptions.

Fournette leads the SEC in rushing with 1,582 yards and despite the three losses remains a strong candidate for the Heisman trophy. Chavis who spent last season with the running back said he is a great all around person.

“He’s easily one of the better if not the best backs in the country,” Chavis said. “The year that I was around him, he was an outstanding young man. He’s a first-class act and is very talented. He’s been blessed with talent and he’s worked to make it work for him. He’ll pose a challenge for anybody that’s facing him.”

The A&M seniors will be participating in their last regular season college football game. A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said it would be great to send them off with a win.

“I think it’s a big deal for our fans and for these seniors, just because these are the pioneers, they’re the first guys to come in and play in this league,” Sumlin said. “This is the one program they haven’t beaten in the West during their time here and that’s something they want to accomplish leaving here from Texas A&M: the first group to go into the SEC and also have the opportunity to have a victory over every [SEC] West opponent. That’s something that we’ve talked about.”

This is the first week since playing against Ole Miss that Kyle Allen will start with a full week of preparation as the starting quarterback. Offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said he likes the way Allen is playing heading into the matchup against LSU and is confident in his second year quarterback.

“He’s throwing the ball efficiently,” Spavital said. “He was doing a great job of getting through his progressions and making smart decisions with the ball. We’ve struggled with turnovers at the quarterback position and he’s doing a great job of taking what the defense gives him and he’s not throwing any ill advised throws or unnecessary passes that can cause turnovers. What boiled down to him getting the starting job was ball security and taking care of the ball.”

Despite spending six years with the Tigers, John Chavis said it should not be too difficult returning to his old stomping grounds.

“I’ve been there a bunch,” said Chavis. “I’ve spent six years there but also was there a bunch before that. It’s SEC football. That’s what it’s all about. I’ll tell you this: I’m excited about walking in there as an Aggie.”
Kick-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. C.T. on Nov. 28 and the game is being broadcasted by the SEC Network.  

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  • Defensive coordinator John Chavis discusses facing his former team, the LSU Tigers, during Tuesday’s weekly press conference.

    Photo by Photo by Lawrence Smelser

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