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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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Takeaways from A&M’s 42-30 loss to LSU

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Katelynn Ivy

Junior DL Fadil Diggs (10) tackles LSU RB Josh Williams (27) during Texas A&M’s game against LSU on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023 at Tiger Stadium (Katelynn Ivy/The Battalion)

Following a win over Abilene Christian, Texas A&M football’s matchup versus the LSU Tigers on Saturday, Nov. 25, marked the second game under the reins of interim head coach Elijah Robinson.

The matchup ended with the Aggies losing 42-30 to the Tigers. Like many other teams this year, the Aggie defense struggled to contain an explosive LSU offense. Sophomore quarterback Jaylen Henderson got his third consecutive start while sophomore receiver Evan Stewart didn’t travel with the team.

Here are a few takeaways from Saturday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana:

Missing Evan Stewart

As mentioned earlier, Stewart did not travel with the team. This game marked the fourth game Stewart has missed this year, yet he is second on the team in receiving yards and touchdowns at 514 and four, respectively. The Aggie offense found ways to score against a bad LSU defense, but the Maroon and White missed the star playmaker as a go-to guy.

In Stewart’s absence, junior receiver Jahdae Walker had four catches for 80 yards. Graduate receiver Ainias Smith had eight catches for 59 yards while senior tight end Max Wright had 60 yards and a long touchdown to give the Aggies a little life.

Many have tried to stop LSU’s offense, but most have failed

The Aggie defensive backs did fairly well in the first half, but the Tigers started to roll in the second half. Senior quarterback Jayden Daniels finished the game with 235 passing yards, four passing touchdowns and added 120 yards on the ground. The Heisman hopeful connected with dynamic junior receivers Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr. throughout the game. Nabers had six catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns while Thomas Jr. had five catches for 58 yards and a touchdown.

The silver lining for the defensive back unit is it’s a tough task to try to stop an LSU offense ranked first in the nation in total offense. However, the unit has struggled all season long in big games. With the A&M job up in the air, the next head coach might make some changes.

Henderson is a nice change of pace

Not saying Henderson is the guy going forward, but he has provided the Aggies with a different style of play these last three games. Henderson only rushed for 10 yards in this matchup, but in his prior two starts, he rushed for 87 yards combined.

Not only has Henderson shown escape ability, his mobility allows for more effective plays outside of the pocket. Most notably when Henderson found sophomore tight end Jake Johnson for a touchdown right before halftime.

Henderson also had a solid day throwing the ball as well. He completed 25 of 35 of his passing attempts for 294 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. LSU’s defense is one of the worst in the country, but Henderson played well for a young quarterback in a hostile environment.

Rueben Owens looked good as a returner

Smith has one more year of eligibility left if he chooses to come back to A&M. If he chooses to leave, the Aggies would need to find a replacement for him at the returner positions. Freshman running back Rueben Owens had a good day on kick returns as he returned three kicks for 78 yards. It’s unknown how Owens would look returning punts, but with a crowded running back room, Owens could make an impact in the return game if Smith decides to leave.

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About the Contributor
Eli Meschko
Eli Meschko, Sports Writer
Eli Meschko is a journalism senior from Boerne, Texas, and is minoring in communication and sports management. Eli has covered football, men's basketball, baseball, softball, hockey and track & field. Eli also writes for Dave Campbell's Texas Football as an intern. After graduation, Eli plans on pursuing a career in sports media or public relations.
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