LSU Throttles Texas A&M 50-7 on Senior Night
From the moment Joe Burrow was announced during senior night in Death Valley Saturday, the moment the senior trotted out with "Burreaux" stitched to his jersey, there was a different electricity in the air.
That electricity stemmed from a regular season stocked full of historic moments and memories that all who watched can carry on. And Saturday night, those moments and memories wouldn't come close to stopping as the Tigers put a 50-7 beatdown on Texas A&M to close the regular season with a perfect record.
LSU shot out of a cannon in the first half, putting together the most dominant half of football the team has played all season. On offense, that meant scoring touchdowns on its first four possessions before a field goal came on possession No. 5. The offense compiled 324 yards of total offense en route to hanging 31 points on the board in the opening 30 minutes.
"So many great things happened tonight but I think the No. 1 thing was we played 60 minutes to the LSU standard of performance," Orgeron said. "It's what we've been looking for all year. I thought we had a good day of preparation today, our seniors talked to our guys. I thought our guys were right on point today."
On defense, it meant holding the Aggie offense to six straight possessions without scoring a point and 40 yards of total offense after one half of football. In fact, after its first possession in the third quarter, Texas A&M had more punts (seven) than first downs (five).
The defense combined for six sacks, eight tackles for a loss, seven pass breakups and three interceptions.
"I thought we rushed the passer very well," Orgeron said. "We dialed up some blitzes. We put pressure on the quarterback. We didn't allow them to beat us one-on-one. I thought our defensive backs made some tremendous plays on the football. It was just an overall tremendous night. What a difference a year makes."
There were stars on both sides of the ball, but none shined brighter than the senior Burrow. Coming into Saturday, Burrow needed 261 yards to break Tim Couch's SEC single-season yardage record. By the first drive of the third quarter, Burrow had completed that accomplishment, throwing for 325 yards on 23-of-32 passing for the game.
The records didn't stop there for Burrow, who threw for his third touchdown of the night in the third quarter to Ja'Marr Chase, putting LSU up 41-7. That touchdown throw was No. 44 on the season for Burrow, tying former Missouri QB Drew Lock for most in a single season by an SEC quarterback.
Chase would continue to add fuel to his Biletnikoff Award chances, totaling 197 yards on seven catches with two more scores.
Defensively, sophomore outside linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson had possibly his best game of the season, racking up six tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks on Aggies quarterback Kellen Mond. Safety Grant Delpit hauled in his second interception of the 2019 season and freshman Maurice Hampton had a second straight standout performance.
Hampton's late season emergence allows LSU to go back to a three-safety look with Delpit and JaCoby Stevens, which the team can feel comfortable with.
On Saturday, Even kicker Cade York jumped in on the action, becoming the first LSU kicker to connect on two 50-plus yard field goals in a game.
Outside of one busted play in the second half that would lead to a touchdown, the defense continued its dominance while the offense stayed in cruise control.
Burrow and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire received curtain call exits in the fourth quarter with the lead firmly in hand, and were awarded emotional ovations from the Tiger faithful.
With most of the starters out of the game, sophomore Myles Brennan completed a 58-yard touchdown pass to Racey McMath to cap off the evening.
Once the final second fell to zero and most of the players had walked into the locker room to celebrate, one stayed behind, Joe Burrow. Instead of walking off the field with his teammates, the senior quarterback who's won the hearts of every LSU student on campus, jogged over to the student section to say thanks.
"I don't go to class, I take online classes so I don't get to see those people all too often," Burrow said. "I just wanted to thank them for coming to games and making this the best atmosphere in the country. Saturday night in Death Valley, there's nothing like it and it's given everything to me and I couldn't be more grateful."