BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – LSU coach Ed Orgeron and Tigers # 1 do little to disguise their disgust at the way they lost a seven-hour thriller at Texas A&M; one year ago.
"We just feel helpless," Orgeron said on Monday, reflecting on the excruciating and exhausting loss of 74-72 that included everything from spectacular clutch plays to official and post-match disputes. "We think when the time comes we will do something about it – and now is the time."
The LSU (11-0, 7-0 Southeastern Conference) has not lost since, having won the cup game to finish last season and its first eleven regular season games this season.
Joe Burrow, who allegedly passed out in the locker room and needed several doses of intravenous fluids after last year's meeting, smiled when asked after a victory over Arkansas on Saturday night if he was already looking forward to a rematch with the Aggies.
“Excited for Saturday. Excited, ”said Burrow, his facial expression indicating that he was choosing to leave certain unsaid thoughts.
When pressed for excitement, he replied, "A chance to make it 12-0," the smile lingering on his face as he looked at everyone, waiting for the next question.
At College Station, Aggies QB Kellen Mond said he was not surprised by the comments coming from Baton Rouge.
"I figured they'd talk a little, but, I mean, we can only control what we can control," Mond said. "We feel that we are also a good team and that we will definitely be ready to compete."
LSU almost won last year's meeting. Orgeron even threw a bucket of Gatorade at him by players who thought the victory had been sealed.
"Obviously a little premature," said Orgeron. “Our guys got fired. We think we won the game three or four times. "
What looked like a game interception by Grant Delpit was annihilated when the replay booth intervened to say that Mond's knee momentarily touched the lawn as he bent to catch a snap before unloading the pass.
Shortly thereafter, the clock ended when Mond raced to the line at LSU 19 in an attempt to hit the ball and make one last move. Officers put 1 second back on the clock, allowing the Aggies to tie the game with a touchdown pass.
In the first extra hour, A&M; Jace Sternberger seemed to lose a moment after a reception, but the authorities decided, after revising the play, that Sternberger did not have enough time, and the pass was considered incomplete.
In the seventh overtime, quarterback Greedy Williams appeared to have forced an eighth overtime when he finished a pass on a 2-point conversion, but defensive interference was called, and the Aggies had another chance to convert to victory.
While fans stormed the field in a chaotic celebration, Texas A&M nephew; Coach Jimbo Fisher aggressively pushed LSU analyst Steve Kragthorpe – who has Parkinson's disease and pacemaker – in the chest. LSU assistant Kevin Faulk and Tiger Battle John Battle joined the fray.
"Everyone knows what happened," said Orgeron. "It was a mess."
Now, according to LSU, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, it is "time for redemption."
"We owe a lot to these guys since last year," said Edwards-Helaire. "To understand this pain as a player, it doesn't get any worse than that."
Immediately following the Arkansas victory, a fired Orgeron foreshadowed the intensity he expected during the season finale at Tiger Stadium, saying, "It will continue," and adding, "I will never forget this game last year. We will be ready."
By Monday, Orgeron was taking a more subtle approach. He pointed out that the 2019 Tigers and Aggies have different players and perform a few different pieces, and that he doesn't want the Tigers to get involved in their quest for revenge that loses focus on film study and new tasks.
"We'll be high, but we can't be too high to commit a lot of penalties and everything," said Orgeron. "But it will be an emotional game, because of what happened last year, because of where we are now. We are 11-0. We want to end the unbeaten season. We know what's ahead of us. It's our last game at Tiger Stadium. I can't wait. "
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