Date and Time: Saturday, November 23rd, 2013, 3:30 pm EST
Game Line: LSU -5.5 (from JustBet)
Over/Under: 71
Saturday NCAA analysis: Johnny Manziel and the #12 Texas A&M Aggies travel to Death Valley to take on the #22 ranked LSU Tigers in a key SEC matchup.

The LSU Tigers have had two weeks to prepare for this matchup after coming out on the losing end against conference rival Alabama. LSU has been good at home this year winning all five of their games in Tiger Stadium, including a 35–21 victory over Auburn. The Tigers have not had a problem putting up points this year, averaging 37.9 points per contest; it’s their defense that is the issue, which has been their strong point in recent years. LSU’s defense will certainly be tested this week against Johnny Manziel; however they might just have a plan. During their bye week, WR Odell Beckham has been used as the scout team QB to try to replicate Manziel’s tendencies. On offense, they will need to control the time of possession and establish the run to keep the defense rested and limit A&M’s possessions. Against Alabama, the Tigers were effective but were worn down in the second half. LSU can certainly get the job done on the ground averaging 184.8 yards on the ground per game.

Texas A&M comes into this matchup at 8–2 with their lone two losses against #1 Alabama and #6 Auburn. The Aggies have won three in a row, and have also had two weeks to prepare. Johnny Manziel and the Aggies will look to avenge last season’s loss at College Station to the Tigers 24–19. This year we’ve seen a better version of Johnny Football, who is more confident in the pocket. Manziel has completed 73% of his passes for 3313 yards and 31 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. 6’5″ wide receiver Mike Evans has benefited greatly from Manziel’s improvement, with 57 receptions and 1263 yards for 12 touchdowns. Texas A&M’s defense has taken a step back from last year averaging 450.9 yards per game surrendering 7.36 yards per play. The Aggies are also giving up 210.7 yards on the ground per contest, averaging 5.25 yards per rushing attempt.

In last year’s contest between these two schools, the LSU defense shut down Johnny Manziel, and had seemed to have the blueprint to beat him. Unfortunately for the Tigers, a lot of those players on that LSU defense are now in the NFL and Manziel is a much better passer. I expect this to be a shootout, as both defenses have struggled against quality offenses this year. If LSU can establish a consistent ground game they will definitely have a chance to win this game. However it will most likely come down to which offense can score more, and in that case, the Aggies offensive attack may seem to be too potent for the Tigers to handle, even in Death Valley.

Texas A&M Aggies vs. LSU Tigers Free NCAA Pick: Texas A&M +5.5 Over 71
Texas A&M Aggies vs. LSU Tigers Game Prediction: Texas A&M 41 LSU 37

 

 

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