Devon Achane had a career-high 215 rushing yards with two touchdowns, and Texas A&M Aggies stunned No. 5 LSU 38-23 on Saturday night, likely knocking the Tigers out of college football playoff contention.
Conner Weigman threw two TD passes for the Aggies (5-7, 2-6 Southeastern Conference) and Demani Richardson returned a fumble for a score. The game was tied at 17 in the third quarter before A&M scored 21 straight points.
LSU (9-3, 6-2) had already earned a spot in next week’s SEC title game against undefeated No. 1 Georgia, and a win there could have put the Tigers in the playoffs. . But with three losses, even beating the Bulldogs probably won’t be enough.
The Aggies, who opened the season ranked 6th but will not qualify for a bowling game for the first time since 2008, ended their disappointing season well. They won back-to-back games for the first time since September after snapping a six-game skid with a win over UMass last week.
Achane rushed for 119 yards and a score before halftime to help A&M take a 17-10 lead.
LSU opened the second half with a nine-play, 71-yard drive, capped off by a 19-yard run from John Emery Jr. to tie it at 17-17.
But Edgerrin Cooper punched Jayden Daniels and forced him to fumble on LSU’s next record. Richardson picked it up and threw 37 yards for his second touchdown this season to put A&M atop 24-17 with about seven minutes left in the third quarter.
The Aggies extended the lead to 31-17 on the first play of the fourth quarter when Moose Muhammad landed a one-handed 21-yard touchdown catch.
A 10-yard run from Achane, who returned after missing two games with a foot injury, made it 38-17 with about eight minutes remaining.
A rowdy crowd of over 93,000 fans filled Kyle Field and some began rushing onto the field with around 17 seconds left, causing a delay. It was a marked difference from last week, when most spectators emptied out after half-time on a wet and cold day.
Those fans and many thousands more poured onto the pitch when time expired.
Daniels threw for 189 yards and rushed for 84 more and Emery had three touchdowns for the Tigers, who lost their first game since falling 40-13 at home to Tennessee on Oct. 8.
Emery cut the lead to 38-23 with a 3-yard run with about 6 1/2 minutes left, but the 2-point conversion fell through.
Daniels nearly connected with Jaray Jenkins in the end zone on fourth down on LSU’s next possession, but Tyreek Chappell knocked the ball out of Jenkins’ hands. The Aggies then ran out of time.
Achane put A&M ahead early with a 10-yard TD run on the team’s first possession.
Emery tied the game with a 4-yard run early in the second quarter.
The teams traded field goals and the Aggies regained the lead when Weigman threw under heavy pressure and connected with Donovan Green on a 3-yard score about a minute before halftime. Achane had runs of 29 and 17 yards on that drive.
LSU: With their playoff chances nigh non-existent, coach Brian Kelly’s Tigers will have to quickly put this one behind them if they hope to compete with the Bulldogs.
Texas A&M: The Aggies have shown they have plenty of talent to compete with teams at the top of the SEC. The question is why coach Jimbo Fisher’s team couldn’t put it in place earlier in the year. The Aggies hadn’t won an SEC game since beating Arkansas on Sept. 24.
Associated Press report.
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