College football: A&M defeats LSU in wild, 7-OT thriller

1543

Todd Politz
LSU Director of Digital Media

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — In the highest-scoring and longest game in NCAA FBS history, LSU fell to Texas A&M, 74-72, in seven overtimes on Saturday at Kyle Field.

LSU (9-3, 5-3 SEC) looked to have the game won in regulation. However, a video review nullified an interception and allowed Texas A&M (8-4, 5-3 SEC) to force overtime with a last-second touchdown that tied the game at 31-31.

LSU fell from No. 8 to No. 14 in the Amway Coaches Poll released Sunday. Texas A&M, unranked last week, moved into the rankings at No. 22.

LSU led 31-24 with 6:41 remaining.

Texas A&M’s first attempt to tie the game came up short, as LSU’s defense turned over the Aggies on downs at the LSU 34. On fourth-and-5, A&M quarterback Kellen Mond escaped from the pocket but was quickly chased down by Jacob Phillips before Devin White and Glen Logan made the tackle two yards short of the line to gain.

Though LSU wasn’t able to pick up a first down, it forced Texas A&M to use its remaining timeout and punted the ball to the Aggies 22 with 1:29 remaining.

Mond was able to pull off the improbable game-tying drive, advancing 78 yards in 12 plays to tie the game with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Quartney Davis in the middle of the end zone as time expired.

LSU thought it had won the game when Grant Delpit intercepted Mond with 0:36 seconds to play, however, after video review, it was determined that Mond went down to his knee to recover a fumbled snap.

Prior to the touchdown pass, Mond spiked the ball as the clock ran down to zero. But officials put 1 second back on it. LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said the game should’ve been over under NCAA rules.

“We’ve been told with three seconds left, you can’t kill it,” he said. “They tried to kill it, the clock went down to zero. Why they put another one second left on the clock, remains to be seen. That one second, in my opinion, should’ve never been put up.”

LSU was looking for its first 10-win season since 2013.

“These guys should’ve won 10 games,” Orgeron said. “These guys wanted it. These guys worked hard. They deserved it.”

There were 84 points scored in the extra periods, with the final two being a two-point conversion pass by Mond to wide receiver Kendrick Rogers. The previous NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision record for combined points scored in a game was 137 (76-61 Pitt win over Syracuse).

“We battled the whole time,” Orgeron said. “Give them credit. We fought and we kept on fighting. We just didn’t make enough plays in the end. But in my opinion that one second should’ve never been put back on that clock.

“That was one heck of an overtime. We just fell one play short. Our guys have nothing to be ashamed about.”

In the first overtime, it appeared a Texas A&M player fumbled after making a catch. LSU recovered but it was ruled an incomplete pass.

“I thought the guy caught it and ran with the football, and he fumbled it,” Orgeron said. “They said it wasn’t. The calls didn’t go our way tonight. We’ll look at it.”

Quarterback Joe Burrow led the way for LSU, completing 25-of-38 passes for 270 yards with three touchdowns while rushing 29 times for 100 yards and three more scores.

“Fantastic,” Orgeron said of Burrow’s performance. “That’s the Joe we know. We ran him more tonight than we had, but we wanted to do that and he responded very well.”

Running back Nick Brossette added 61 yards on 16 carries with a touchdown. Justin Jefferson led 11 LSU receivers with 63 yards on five catches with a touchdown.

The Tigers await a postseason bowl destination for the 19th-straight season. It will be announced on Sunday, Dec. 2.

“We’re going to see where this thing takes us,” Orgeron said. “We fell one second short of winning 10 games. We still have had a very good season.”

Texas A&M was led by Mond, who finished 23-of-49 passing for 287 yards with six touchdowns. He added 42 rushing yards with a score. Running back Trayveon Williams had 198 rushing yards on 35 carries with two touchdowns.

Texas A&M outgained LSU, 521-496, in a contest that lasted 4 hours, 53 minutes.

White had 17 tackles, four for loss, with a sack and a forced fumble Michael Divinity scooped and scored. JaCoby Stevens registered 14 stops, including several in overtime that prevented Aggie touchdowns.

Overtimes recap

In the first overtime period, Texas A&M won the coin toss and elected to start on defense. A sack of Burrow forced LSU to try a 50-yard field goal. Tracy made it with room to spare and LSU led 34-31.

Texas A&M earned first-and-goal at the LSU 1, but the Tigers defense stiffened and also forced a 23-yard field goal by Small.

Tied at 34-34 to start the second overtime, the Aggies needed only four plays to take a touchdown advantage on 3-yard run by Mond.

On LSU’s attempt to match the score, Burrow rushed eight yards to the 11 for a first down. Following Burrow runs of 6 and 2 yards to the 3, Brossette stretched his fourth-down run over the goal line. Tracy’s PAT was true and the game was again tied, 41-41.

In the third overtime period, LSU wasted no time going for the end zone. On first down, Burrow fired a 25-yard pass to Anderson in the right corner. Having to attempt a two-point conversion in the third OT period, Burrow rolled to his right and fired another strike to Jefferson to put the Tigers ahead 49-41.

The Aggies took one more play to match the Tigers, scoring on a remarkable 25-yard catch by Kendrick Rogers. Rogers also made a catch in the back of the end zone for two points to tie the game once again at 49-49.

In the fourth overtime period, the Aggies started the drive by gaining a first down on a Williams rush. Following an incomplete pass, LSU’s Phillips was called for targeting and ejected from the game, giving Texas A&M first-and-goal at the 8. On third-and-goal from the 4, Mond was forced out of the pocked and threw an incomplete pass. The Aggies settled for a 21-yard field goal by Small to take a 52-49 lead.

On the first play of LSU’s fourth OT, Burrow had room to run up the middle but chose to connect with Moreau for 17 yards to the Texas A&M 8. Consecutive runs went for only two yards to the 6. After a timeout, Burrow found no one open and ran to the 3. After a delay of game, Tracy made a 26-yard field goal to tie the game at 52-52.

In the fifth overtime, Burrow found fullback Tory Carter open for 12 yards and a first down at the 13. On second-and-8 from the 11, LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire took a handoff from Burrow and ran right, pulled up and pitched a touchdown pass to Carter. LSU’s two-point play was incomplete to Jefferson. The Tigers led 58-52.

A&M’s answer looked to come quickly, as Mond ran for 21 yards to the 4 on first down. However, three plays went for minus-2 yards. On fourth-and-goal from the 6, Mond connected with Rogers for a tying touchdown. On the two-point play, Mond had time but was unable to find an open receiver in the end zone. The game remained tied 58-58.

In the sixth overtime, Mond went straight to the end zone on first down, connecting with Sternberger who got behind Delpit for the touchdown. The two-point play was a catch by Rogers in the back-right corner of the end zone, and Texas A&M led 66-58.

After an 8-yard gain by Burrow, Brossette was dropped for a loss of 4 yards at the 21. On third down, Jefferson went between three defenders for a 17-yard catch to the 4. On the next play, Burrow faked a handoff and ran for the touchdown. On the two-point play, Burrow stood in the pocket and found Anderson with a fastball that tied the game at 66-66.

In the seventh overtime period, LSU again went straight for Anderson on first down. This time, pass interference was called and LSU had first-and-goal at the 10. Burrow then took it into his own hands, carrying for the 29th time and eclipsing the 100-yard rushing mark with his sixth touchdown of the game. LSU’s two-point play was tipped at the line and completed to Anderson, but he wasn’t able to reach the goal line.

On third-and-15 from his 17, Mond connected with Davis across the middle for a 17-yard touchdown that tied the game at 72-72. On the two-point play, Greedy Williams was flagged for pass interference and then unsportsmanlike conduct. Following an LSU timeout, Texas A&M was flagged for a false start. From his 5-yard line, Mond was able to scan the field and complete the two-point conversion to Rogers to end the game and send the Aggie faithful onto the field.