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LSU 24, Texas A&M 19: When You Can't Stop Shooting Yourself in the Foot

Texas A&M won this game on the stat sheet. They lost it because they couldn't hold onto the ball

Ronald Martinez

By most offensive measures, there's no way LSU should have won this game. Texas A&M outgained the Tigers 410-396. The Aggies converted 26 first downs to LSU's 18. Zach Mettenberger's passer rating was 77.41, a paltry figure. Even if you want to look at penalties -- though their impact on games is often overstated -- LSU committed 13 for 102 yards to TAMU's six for 65 yards.

But then there's that line that wipes out so many would-be wins in the stat sheet: A&M committed five turnovers in the game, three of which turned into LSU's three touchdowns. Another resulted in a missed field goal and the fifth was a fumble as A&M looked for a "band-is-on-the-field" play at the end of the game.

It's anybody's guess as to whether LSU can continue to win games this way, particularly whether the Tigers can defeat Alabama when the Tide visits Baton Rouge in two weeks. What the Bengals managed to achieve this week was to continue that game's status as the de facto SEC West Championship Game -- at least barring an A&M upset of Alabama.

For a while on Saturday, it seemed like the Aggies could make that milestone clash the game they play against Alabama in three weeks. But their own mistakes kept that from happening and may have prevented their inaugural year in the SEC from being one that's truly special.