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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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A&M offense expects intense game against LSU

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

Running back Isaiah Spiller led the Aggies with 141 rushing yards

With a renewed winning spirit after a 52-3 win against Prairie View A&M, Texas A&M football looks to close out its regular season with a win against an aggressive LSU defense.

On Saturday, Nov. 27, the Aggies head to Death Valley to face head coach Ed Orgeron and the LSU Tigers fresh off a decisive win. Although LSU’s fresh-faced offense has been on the rise, its defense has been an obstacle for top-ranked teams. In their last three games, the Tigers have held their opponents to 20, 16 and 14 points, including their 6-point loss to No. 3 Alabama.

The matchup to watch this weekend will be how the A&M offensive line compares with the Tigers’ tough rushers. In Monday’s weekly press conference, A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said LSU’s interior is physical in what they do and know how to do it, especially sophomore defensive end BJ Ojulari.

“BJ [Ojulari] coming off the edge, he can rush,” Fisher said. “There are times when he went against [Evan Neal] at Alabama and he’d slip, drop that shoulder and he wouldn’t even touch him. Good things in the pass rush game; he’s really, really outstanding.”

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Zach Calzada threw 10-for-14 for 150 yards in his last game against Prairie View A&M, and he sits at 164 for 292 through 11 games, but with Calzada averaging almost one interception per game, A&M’s offensive line will need to work to fight off the strong rush in order to prevent turnovers.

The A&M offense also relies heavily on running backs sophomore Devon Achane and junior Isaiah Spiller, who stand at 861 and 984 rushing yards, respectively, for the season. After a slow week against the Panthers, both Spiller and Achane are well rested to take on the Tigers’ vigilant senior linebackers Damone Clark and Micah Baskerville, who Fisher said are “naturals.”

The last components of the Aggies’ offense which must come together are the receivers. The maroon and white can rely on junior wide receiver Ainias Smith and junior tight end Jalen Wydermyer, who collectively hold 963 yards this season. However, with a busy LSU backfield, A&M needs to use budding receivers junior Jalen Preston, freshman Demond Demas and junior Caleb Chapman to maneuver the Tigers’ cornerbacks Cordale Flott and Darren Evans, who had five tackles in LSU’s last game against Louisiana-Monroe.

The Tigers sit at 5-6 this season coming into this weekend, which marks the end of their regular season and Orgeron’s final game in Death Valley. Fisher said this is sure to be an intense and emotional final game.

“Well, we’ve got to match their intensity,” Fisher said. “Our opponent is not what we’ve got to base off of; it’s based on ourselves. Our opponents are faceless. Doesn’t matter if we play Prairie View, play LSU, play Alabama, play Auburn, play Georgia, whoever. LSU is going to take care of LSU. Texas A&M is going to need to take care of Texas A&M.”

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