BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - No. 1 LSU returned to the practice field Monday to begin its preparations for Texas A&M coming to town.
LSU (11-0, 7-0 SEC) is coming off a 56-20 win over Arkansas (2-9, 0-7 SEC). Texas A&M (7-4, 4-3 SEC) suffered a 19-13 loss to Georgia on Saturday.
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Head coach Ed Orgeron said he feels this is a rivalry game. The Aggies came away with the controversial 74-72 win over the Tigers in 2018 in a game that lasted seven overtimes.
LSU and its fans have had a year to stew on what happened last season in College Station. It was a game that LSU appeared to have won. Yet, at the end of the seven-overtime marathon that lasted nearly five hours, it was the Tigers left with anger and heartache. Every controversial call went the Aggies’ way. Then, after the game, LSU great and now staff member, Kevin Faulk, was challenged as a huge skirmish broke out. LSU’s John Battle landed a clean punch. There was chaos everywhere.
“It was a mess," said Orgeron about the incident. "It shouldn’t have happened and I’m sorry it did happen.”
He added the Tigers have to keep their emotions in check against the Aggies.
In the months following the game, the Aggies have thrown some more gas on the fire. Quarterback Kellen Mond, likely just trying to compliment his teammates for the victory over the Tigers, seemed to take a shot at LSU.
“As you could see, a lot of the LSU players were cramping and, obviously, we’re just standing tall on both sides of the ball,” Mond said at SEC Media Days.
A new painting in Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher’s office also got some attention. Then, the Aggies released commemorative cups of their victory over the Tigers, with the 74-72 score.
The LSU football players available for interviews Monday remember last year’s Texas A&M game oh so well. The Tigers felt like they had won the game several times, before the Aggies were the eventual victors.
“I definitely thought the game was over,” said safety Grant Delpit. “Slid and took a knee but his knee was down. I just turned around, tried to make a play. In my opinion, I feel like I caused that fumble in overtime. Didn’t go our way. So, we have to turn our head and play the next play. It didn’t feel like a seven overtime game in my mind. So, I tell people I wasn’t really tired. I was just ready to win the game.”
LSU looks to write a much different chapter this weekend and that starts with quarterback Joe Burrow, who is one of 15 Tiger seniors playing their final game in Death Valley. Like every Tiger fan, Burrow wishes he had one year at LSU.
“Of course I do; this place is super special,” said Burrow. “I went up to our trainer and said, ‘Hey, you guys got me that sixth year?’ Unfortunately, I didn’t get that sixth year. [It’s] just another game for us. [If] we play the way we’re capable, we’ll win the game. Three of their four losses are to teams in the top 10 currently. Auburn was in the top 10. This will be a big test for us.”
Kickoff in Tiger Stadium is scheduled for 6 p.m. The game can be seen on ESPN.