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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M defense plans to rebuild momentum against LSU after two-week hiatus

Photo by Courtesy of Craig Bisacre/Texas A&M Athletics

Senior defensive lineman Jayden Peevy recovered a fumble for a 19 yard gain.

In the midst of an unprecedented college football season forcing game postponements and cancellations upon many teams, No. 5 Texas A&M’s defense returns to the field on Saturday after two weeks of COVID-19 delays.
This week is rivalry week in the SEC, and the Aggies will face defending national champions LSU at Kyle Field. A&M’s defense leads the SEC in fewest yards allowed per game while LSU’s offense has yielded the fourth most yards per game in the SEC.
After a rocky start for LSU behind the arm of junior quarterback Myles Brennan, freshman quarterback TJ Finley has stepped up to lead the Tigers to two wins in three games. Finley has thrown for 679 yards and four touchdown passes at a 65 percent completion rate.
“[Finley] can get the ball all over the field,” A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said. “I saw him play in high school. When you see him in person he’s impressive. Very strong arm, very athletic. Runs good for a big guy. Hard to get on the ground. Strong body, [Finley] can reach all parts of the field. He’s only played a few football games but you can see the skys the limit for him. Very talented young man.”
Before the two-week hiatus, A&M’s defense dominated South Carolina and neared a shutout until a field goal in the fourth quarter. The Aggies only allowed 100 passing yards on the night, forcing starting quarterback Collin Hill to complete only eight of 21 pass attempts.
In this defensive showcase in Columbia, A&M sacked Hill two times, making 16 sacks through six games. A&M’s defensive line has been near impenetrable this season, allowing the second fewest rushing yards per game in the SEC at 95.
“This has been a great year for us [the defensive tackles],” senior defensive tackle Jayden Peevy said. “Those guys, they have just been working their butts off in practice. That’s the main thing, work in practice. Those guys have showed up and practiced and they are doing well in the games.”
The main focus for the Aggies appears to be getting back on track after the lengthy break. Still missing graduate student defensive end Micheal Clemons, who leads the Aggies in sacks, due to an injury junior defensive end Tyree Johnson will likely continue to take his place. Johnson has notched 1.5 sacks this season.
“I think the guys are hungry,” Fisher said. “I think they want to play. I think they miss playing. We have got to practice the heck out of them this week. I’d be worried about it if we had played for two weeks and I’d be worried about it if we hadn’t played for two weeks.”
After the record setting season for LSU in 2019, the team lost 14 starting players. This has caused the Tigers to alternate between winning and losing every game. LSU is coming off a 27-24 win against Arkansas in which sophomore running back Tyrion Davis-Price posted his second 100-plus yard game of the season.
LSU has been held under 80 rushing yards three times this season. Those games resulted in a loss for the Tigers. For A&M and its top-tier rushing defense, this should prove to be advantageous.

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