Rivalry Week Preview: LSU vs. Texas A&M

Les Miles’ LSU Tigers will take on Kevin Sumlin’s Texas A&M Aggies on Thanksgiving Day at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas. With this matchup being the last of the year for both teams, these two football programs have one last chance to get a W after failing to meet the expectations of their seasons. Both enter the game at 7-4 (3-4), and are unranked in both the AP and College Football Playoff polls.

Instead on SEC West supremacy, the Tigers and Aggies will be playing for pride in this new rivalry. Since the Aggies joined the Southeastern Conference three years ago, LSU is currently 2-0 against Texas A&M. However, more than just pride will be involved when you look a little bit deeper at this contest. A better bowl game will be in store for the winner, and the recruiting battle for each program can be won or lost based on the outcome.

Both the Tigers and Aggies will be thinking about an SEC West Title in the 2015 season, and will also be searching for a SEC Championship as well as a chance to be 1 of the 4 teams fighting for a FBS National Championship next year.

The difference in style of play between the two teams is staggering, with LSU relying mainly on their defense to keep themselves in games, while A&M looks to offense in order to outscore their opponents on a regular basis.

The key for the Tigers in College Station will be a balance on offense with their 5-star recruit, true freshman running back Leonard Fournette, toting the rock with ferocity. In addition, sophomore quarterback Anthony Jennings must make the most of his opportunities throwing the football if LSU is to escape Kyle Field with a victory.

As for the Aggies, true freshman quarterback Kyle Allen’s poise and accuracy will determine whether or not A&M wins on their home turf on Senior Day. The Aggies will also look to their playmakers with the three-headed monster of Brandon Williams, Tre Williams and Tra Carson at running back sharing the load. In addition, A&M’s X-factors will be true freshman kick returner/wide receiver Speedy Noil as well as true freshman defensive end, Myles Garrett. Noil’s ability to get loose in the open field, and Garrett’s ability to wreak havoc on Tigers’ QB Jennings could be the difference in a win or loss for the Aggies.

The game can be seen at 7:30 PM ET on ESPN on Thanksgiving Day. So, give thanks, stuff yourself with turkey and watch LSU at Texas A&M for dessert. Okay, a slice of pecan pie will be necessary as well.

*Section Photo credit to Stacy Revere, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Derick E. Hingle, USA Today Sports