|Date of game: 10/20/2012
Recap: Texas A&M vs. LSU
College Station, TX (Sports Network) - Jeremy Hill's 47-yard rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter helped the sixth-ranked LSU Tigers hold off the 20th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies, 24-19.
Hill carried the ball 18 times for 127 yards for the Tigers (7-1, 3-1 SEC), who have won two in a row since a loss to Florida on Oct. 6. Michael Ford rushed for 78 yards and a score on 11 carries.
Zach Mettenberger completed 11-of-29 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown for the victors.
"I wasn't surprised with how tight they played us," Mettenberger said. "Before this game we hadn't really taken many shots downfield. We run the ball really well, so everyone is going to try to stop the run against us. Next time we have to capitalize on the deep balls."
Johnny Manziel connected on 29-of-56 passes for 276 yards and three interceptions for the Aggies (5-2, 2-2), who had a five-game winning streak snapped.
Ben Malena carried the ball 12 times for 82 yards and a touchdown for Texas A&M, which hosted LSU at Kyle Field for the first time since 1995.
Trailing, 12-0, LSU finally got going on offense late in the first half. The momentum shifted to the visitors when Jalen Collins picked off Manziel at the 39-yard line of the Tigers. A defensive pass interference penalty moved LSU into Texas A&M territory. On 4th-and-1 from the 33-yard line, Ford ripped of a 13-yard run. Ford followed that up with 20-yard TD run down the right sideline with 1:49 to go.
The Tigers' defense followed with a big play to give the ball back to the offense. Malena lost the ball on a running play and Ronald Martin recovered the fumble for LSU at the Texas A&M 41-yard line. The visitors converted another fourth down en route to a score. Hill ran for three yards on 4th- and-1. Two plays later, Kadron Boone caught a 29-yard TD pass to make it 14-12 at the break.
Manziel was intercepted by Kevin Minter early in the third period. LSU moved the ball to the 32-yard line of Texas A&M before bringing out the field goal unit. A substitution infraction penalty moved the ball back five yards and Drew Alleman missed a 54-yard field goal.
The Aggies had a chance to take the lead early in the fourth quarter, but Taylor Bertolet missed a 52-yard field goal.
Alleman then capped a 12-play, 55-yard drive with a 28-yard field goal to give LSU a 17-12 margin with 8:35 left.
Texas A&M had a golden chance to cut into the deficit or take the lead after Trey Williams returned the ensuing kickoff 76 yards to the 16-yard line. The Aggies gained just two yards before Bertolet came on to attempt a 33-yard field goal. Bertolet's kick sailed wide right.
The Aggies got the ball back at their own 20-yard line with 4:55 to play. A pair of 15-yard penalties on LSU helped move Texas A&M near midfield. Tharold Simon then picked off Manziel.
Hill's 47-yard TD run on the first play of the Tigers' ensuing possession made it 24-12.
"I thought that we let one get out of the gate right there at the end of the fourth quarter. Other than that, I thought our defense played pretty well," Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said. "They were able to move the ball, with the exception of that last touchdown. I thought we contained it pretty well and got off of the field enough on third downs. We didn't force any turnovers, and that's a credit to them too. You're playing a top-10 team in the country and you don't get any turnovers, and we turn over three times, it's difficult to win against a team like that."
Texas A&M stayed alive on Malena's 5-yard touchdown run with 1:17 left.
However, LSU recovered the onside kick and ran the clock down to 21 seconds before punting. The Aggies got two plays off before time ran out.
The Aggies scored a touchdown on the opening possession of the game. Texas A&M converted a pair of third downs on the 12-play, 75-yard drive. On the third play, Nehemiah Hicks caught a 7-yard pass on 3rd-and-1. Faced with a 3rd-and-6 later in the drive, Malena recorded an 18-yard run. Christine Michael capped the march with a 2-yard rushing TD. Bertolet missed the extra point.
Texas A&M tacked on three more points after LSU went three-and-out. Mike Evans hauled in three passes for 52 yards to help move the ball into the red zone. The Aggies, however, were forced to settle for a 32-yard Bertolet field goal, making it 9-0 with 5:41 left in the first quarter.
Bertolet added a 50-yard field goal with 7:24 remaining in the half.Game Notes
LSU leads the all-time series with Texas A&M, 28-20-3 ... Ryan Swope caught 10
passes for 81 yards for the Aggies ... The Tigers have an open date before
taking on top-ranked Alabama on Nov. 3 ... The Aggies came into Saturday's
game leading the SEC in scoring (47.0 ppg), rushing (235.8 ypg) and total
offense (543.7 ypg) ... Texas A&M plays Auburn next Saturday ... LSU had 13
penalties for 102 yards.