Burrowing Down: A&M's Final Test Comes in the Form of a Heisman Contender
COLLEGE STATION - Jordan Jefferson, JaMarcus Russell, Christian Ponder, Jameis Winston.
Those four names took the College Football world by storm during their days in school. No matter their success at the next level, one could not take away their attributes in school.
And they were all coached by Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher. To put it into terms, when Fisher speaks of quarterbacks, he knows what he's talking about. So a compliment to LSU's Joe Burrow means there's something special out at Tiger Stadium.
Potentially Heisman special should the senior quarterback find success one final time this weekend against the Aggies.
"This is a guy who moved all the way across the country from Ohio to Louisiana and had to make adjustments," Fisher said Monday at his weekly press conference. "People don't take into count how that affects guys. I'm sure he's more comfortable there, better there. He's obviously the leader of that team and you can see it."
Burrow's transformation in his second season wearing the purple and gold could be one for the ages. Not only has the former Buckeye evolved the Tigers into an offensive juggernaut, but now has them one win away from a perfect regular season.
A&M could be the game where reality comes crashing back for LSU. Last season, the Aggies exchanged blows late into the evening at Kyle Field, culminating in a 74-72 victory for the home team and left Burrow having to see the medical staff for dehydration.
Fisher, however, praised the Tigers' quarterback for his outing last season. He'd finish with 370 total yards of offense and scored six total touchdowns.
"Against us, he was a great player," Fisher said. "I mean he played great that night, running and throwing the football. I'm sure he's much more comfortable in what they do now."
Burrow finished the 2018 season with 2,894 passing yards and 16 touchdowns on his way to Fiesta Bowl victory. The Tigers wanted to expand their passing game, hoping to show off the Athens, Ohio native's arm. With the hiring of passing game coordinator Joe Brady, the plan has come in to fruition.
Since the 30-year-old's hiring, LSU has transformed into one of the top offenses in the nation. Burrow became the fourth quarterback in the Southeastern Conference to finish a season with at least 4,000 passing yards and 40 touchdowns on the year. Four more will put him as the single-season leader in touchdowns for conference history.
"Joe (Burrow) has really stepped up," linebacker Buddy Johnson said. "He's a great player and he's showing it and he's been playing really well but, our defense has been playing really well too so we're just going to have to find out."
A Maxwell finalist is just one of the awards that Burrow could be taking home come hardware season. Throw his name into the Davey O'Brien category and a trip to New York is more than plausible. The success from one season likely will have NFL scouts scattering the film when looking for a franchise quarterback.
That isn't on the Aggies' mind. Neither is the victory from last season. Instead, it's about coming together one final time to end the season on a high note. If there's any indication from last season, A&M could be the team to finally dethrone the Tigers at home.
Everyone has a kryptonite. Perhaps A&M is Burrow's.
"Having a chance to go on Saturday against the No.1 ranked team and come out with a victory, that's big for not only for us as a team, but just for the program in years to come," safety Kendrick Carper said. "It just continues to build on the foundation we want to establish."
The Tigers will kickoff against the Aggies on Saturday, Nov 30, at 6:00 p.m. at Tiger Stadium. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN.