AggieYell - LSU's offense vs. Texas A&M's defense
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LSU's offense vs. Texas A&M's defense

AggieYell.com's breakdown of the matchup between No. 5 Texas A&M (5-1) and LSU (3-3) continues with a look at the Tigers offense against the Aggie defense.

TJ Finley will make his fourth career start Saturday.
TJ Finley will make his fourth career start Saturday.

LSU depth chart

QB: #11, TJ Finley (Fr.; 6-6, 242; ProFootballFocus score of 75)

#14, Max Johnson (Fr.; 6-5, 219; PFF score of 68.5)

RB: #3, Tyrion Davis-Price (So.; 6-1, 232; PFF score of 77.9)

#4, John Emery Jr. (So.; 5-11, 215; PFF score of 68.3)

#18, Chris Curry (So.; 5-11, 216; PFF score of 57.2)

WR: #13, Jontre Kirklin (Sr.; 6, 184; PFF score of 64.8)

#1, Kayshon Boutte (Fr.; 6, 185; PFF score of 69.1)

WR: #6, Terrace Marshall (Jr.; 6-4, 200; PFF score of 78.3)

#10, Jaray Jenkins (So.; 6-4, 194; PFF score of 71.8)

WR: #17, Racey McMath (Sr.; 6-3, 224; PFF score of 61.2)

#33, Trey Palmer (So.; 6, 180; PFF score of 56.7)

TE: #2, Arik Gilbert (Fr.; 6-5, 249; PFF score of 74.9)

#44, Tory Carter (Sr.; 6, 244; PFF score of 55.4)



LT: #51, Dare Rosenthal (So.; 6-7, 327; PFF score of 72.1)

#61, Cameron Wire, (So.; 6-6, 311; PFF score of 60.4)

LG: #70, Ed Ingram (Jr.; 6-3, 315; PFF score of 73.4)

#77, Marlon Martinez (Fr.; 6-4, 325; PFF score of 61.3)

C: #56, Liam Shanahan (Sr.-TR.; 6-5, 305; PFF score of 64.2)

#69, Charles Turner (RS-Fr.; 6-5, 287; PFF score of 61.3)

RG: #57, Chasen Hines (Jr.; 6-3, 320; PFF score of 69.4)

#75, Anthony Bradford (RS-Fr.; 6-5, 365; PFF score of 46)

RT: #76, Austin Deculus (Sr.; 6-7, 322; PFF score of 68.2)

Marcus Dumervil (Fr.; 6-5, 310; PFF score of 57.7)

Texas A&M depth chart

Tyree Johnson has been on a roll in recent weeks.
Tyree Johnson has been on a roll in recent weeks.

DE: #3, Tyree Johnson (RS-Jr.; 6-4, 240; PFF score of 76.1)

#15, Jeremiah Martin (Jr.; 6-5, 262; PFF score of 57.2)

DT: #92, Jayden Peevy (Sr.; 6-6, 295; PFF score of 71.1)

#6, Derick Hunter (RS-Fr.; 6-4, 310; PFF score of 69.2)

DT: #5, Bobby Brown (Jr.; 6-4, 325; PFF score of 69.2)

#35, McKinnley Jackson (Fr.; 6-2, 335; 58.2)

DE: #8, DeMarvin Leal (So.; 6-4, 290; PFF score of 81.2)

#18, Donell Harris (Fr.; 6-3, 220; PFF score of 64.6)


WLB: #33, Aaron Hansford (RS-Sr.; 6-3, 245; PFF score of 60.3)

#32, Andre White (So.; 6-3, 225; PFF score of 48)

MLB: #1, Buddy Johnson (Sr.; 6-2, 230; PFF score of 58.9)

#24, Chris Russell (So.; 6-2, 240; PFF score of 50.9)


Nickel: #4, Erick Young (So.; 6-1, 205; PFF score of 61.5)

#7, Devin Morris (RS-Jr.; 6-1, 202; PFF score of 64)

#27, Antonio Johnson (Fr.; 6-3, 190; PFF score of 59.5)

CB: #10, Myles Jones (Sr.; 6-4, 185; PFF score of 70.9)

#16, Brian George (Jr.; 6-2, 190; 53.1)

S: #26, Demani Richardson (So.; 6-1, 216; PFF score of 70.3)

#13, Brian Williams (So.; 6-1, 210; PFF score of 63.2)

S: #9, Leon O'Neal Jr. (Jr.; 6-1, 210; PFF score of 61.9)

#14, Keldrick Carper (Sr.; 6-2, 195; PFF score of 62.8)

CB: #17, Jaylon Jones (Fr.; 6-2, 205; PFF score of 63)

#11, Travon Fuller (RS-Sr.; 6-1, 180; PFF score of 28.1)

Injury update

LSU: Myles Brennan (core) and WR Racey McMath (hamstring) are out. WR Trey Palmer is questionable.

Texas A&M: DE Micheal Clemons (ankle) is out.

LSU statistical leaders

Terrace Marshall is a slam dunk All-SEC selection.
Terrace Marshall is a slam dunk All-SEC selection.

Rushing: Davis-Price, 77 carries, 349 yards (4.5 YPC), 3 TD

Emery, 60 carries, 279 yards (4.7 YPC), 2 TD

Curry, 23 carries, 73 yards (3.2 YPC)

Passing: Myles Brennan, 79-131 (60.3%), 1,112 yards, 11 TD, 3 INT

Finley, 57-87, 679 yards, 4 TD, 3 INT

Johnson, 15-24, 172 yards, 1 TD

Receiving: Marshall, 38 catches, 597 yards (15.7 YPC), 9 TD

Gilbert, 27 catches, 314 yards (11.6 YPC), 2 TD

Jenkins, 16 catches, 277 yards (17.3 YPC), 1 TD

Texas A&M statistical leaders

Tackles: Buddy Johnson, 57

Hansford, 33

Richardson, 31

Tackles for loss: Peevy and Micheal Clemons, 4.5

Three players with 4

Sacks: Clemons, 4

Brown, 2.5

Buddy Johnson and Hansford, 2

Passes broken up: Four players with 3

Interceptions: O’Neal, 2

Four players with 1

Forced fumbles: Buddy Johnson, 2

Fumble recoveries: Peevy and Leal, 1

LSU by the numbers

Rushing offense: 124.3 YPG (100th nationally, 11th SEC)

Passing offense: 327.2 YPG (12th nationally, 4th SEC)

Total offense: 451.5 YPG (28th nationally, 4th SEC)

First downs: 146 (51st nationally, 8th SEC)

Third down conversion percentage: 38.2% (78th nationally, 10th SEC)

Red zone conversion percentage: 89.5% (28th nationally, 3rd SEC)

Time of possession: 32:37 (22nd nationally, 2nd SEC)

Sacks allowed: 14 (73rd nationally, 10th SEC)

Penalties: 36 (56th nationally, 8th SEC)

Penalty yardage: 265 yards (52nd nationally, 2nd SEC)

Turnovers: 8 (55th nationally, 4th SEC)

Turnover +/-: +4 (28th nationally, 3rd SEC)

Texas A&M by the numbers

The Aggies have the SEC's top overall defense.
The Aggies have the SEC's top overall defense.

Rushing defense: 95.7 YPG (10th nationally, 2nd SEC)

Passing defense: 242.5 YPG (74th nationally, 4th SEC)

Total defense: 338.2 YPG (26th nationally, 1st SEC)

3rd down conversion defense: 40.8% (68th nationally, 4th SEC)

Red zone defense: 93.8% (115th nationally, 13th SEC)

Tackles for loss: 40, 6.7 per game (44th nationally, 4th SEC)

Sacks: 14 (41st nationally, 3rd SEC)

Penalties: 36 (56th nationally, 8th SEC)

Penalty yards: 340 (72nd nationally, 8th SEC)

Turnovers forced: 8 (70th nationally, 11th SEC)

Turnover +/-: +1 (54th nationally, 6th SEC)

What LSU wants to do

Protect the inexperienced Finley as much as possible and play keep away from the Aggie offense. In other words, run the football. The Tigers ran the ball 48 times for 148 yards against Arkansas — that’s just 3 yards a carry, but it helped take the pressure off of Finley, who threw for a career-high 271 yards. LSU held onto the ball for nearly 42 minutes last weekend, and that made a big difference against a short-handed Arkansas front. The Tigers will likely keep trying to run against the Aggies for the same reasons.

In the passing game, Finley’s primary targets have been Marshall and Gilbert for obvious reasons. Marshall is one of the nation’s top receivers and Gilbert is a huge target — and nobody else has stepped up. Add in the fact that Racey McMath probably won’t play in this one and it becomes even more likely Finley will look in their directions.

LSU’s offense has become significantly less explosive without Myles Brennan at the helm, which makes controlling time of possession even more important. If LSU can’t run the ball and then try to hit some big plays off of play action, they could be in trouble.

How A&M may try to counter

If the primary goal of the opponent is to run, A&M’s is to stop it. The SEC’s top rushing defense is going to look to shut down the already-struggling LSU running attack and put the game on the shoulders of Finley, who is only making his fourth career start. A&M wants to be able to control things with their front six, allowing for a lot of coverage and help for the corners deep. The last few games, the Aggies have shown some new blitz looks, but most of it has been to confuse quarterbacks and the “blitzers” have dropped off. Then, once every four or five times, they’ll actually come after the quarterback.

The Aggies have done a good job controlling things with their defensive line and have been getting pressure with their front four. Tyree Johnson has been playing very well in the place of Micheal Clemons, and big men DeMarvin Leal and Bobby Brown are also getting to the quarterback. They’ll try to do the same thing against an LSU front that has given up 14 sacks in six games.

The gameplan for A&M will likely be simple: take away the run. Make Finley beat you, show him a bunch of different looks and then try to get as much pressure as possible without using a lot of blitzes. It’s easier said than done, but the objective, at least, isn’t complex.