BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Les Miles loves calling Death Valley the place opponents' dreams go to die. The same might someday be said about Johnny Manziel's bid for a second Heisman Trophy.
Terrence Magee piled up a career-high 149 yards rushing, LSU's defense pulled the plug on Johnny Football and Texas A&M's video-game offense, and No. 18 LSU energized Tiger Stadium with a commanding 34-10 victory over the ninth-ranked Aggies on Saturday.
"We just got punched in the mouth tonight and it wasn't fun," Manziel said. "It wasn't fun to get beat like that. We will see how we handle adversity. This team with a bunch of young guys — we just have to see how they bounce back."
What was likely Manziel's only visit to Tiger Stadium (he could turn pro next year) was among the worst outings of his otherwise brilliant career. He passed for 224 yards and a TD, but completed only 16 of 41 attempts, was sacked twice and intercepted twice as the Aggies' road winning streak ended at 10.
Two weeks ago, LSU's young defense appeared ground down in the second half of a 38-17 loss at Alabama, begging the question of how vulnerable the unit might be against Texas A&M (8-3, 4-3 Southeastern Conference), whose SEC-leading offense came in averaging a whopping 578 yards and 49.2 points per game.
Instead, the Tigers (8-3, 4-3) became the first to shut out Manziel in a first quarter since September of 2012, and ended A&M's 13-game streak of scoring 40 or more points. The Aggies' point and yardage totals were their lowest since coach Kevin Sumlin arrived last season, when Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, became the starting quarterback as a redshirt freshman.
Miles, given the game ball by his players, counted himself among the least surprised by way the Tigers made Manziel's visit a miserable one.
"They look forward to playing a quality opponent with marquee written all over it," LSU's coach said. "Competition: It's a long word and there's a lot to it. ... This is a team that knows how to play in big games and will fight you.
"The defense rushed and maintained leverage and we put speed on the field and covered," Miles added. "That's the kind of LSU defense that we're used to."
The Tigers gave some credit to Odell Beckham, who's been named a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation's top receiver.
His five catches for 50 yards helped, but it was his work imitating Manziel with the scout team in practice that gave LSU's defense a good sense of how to contain a dynamic scrambler.
"Odell may be faster than the opponent's quarterback," Miles said. "He's as elusive as anybody I've ever known."
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