BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Les Miles knows that LSU might not get away with settling for field goals against a Texas A&M team coming off a 59-point performance.
After grinding out a high-stakes, 23-21 victory at home against previously unbeaten South Carolina last Saturday night, the sixth-ranked Tigers began preparations on Monday for a trip to College Station, Texas.
The 11 a.m. kickoff could be the start of a long day if LSU's defense isn't sharp against freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel and the Aggies prolific offense.
"I hope we can contain" Manziel, Miles said. "The good thing is that our defense will be one of the fastest he will have seen. Hopefully we will use a style of pressure that's most effective. At times it's going to be coverage and keeping him in the pocket, and other times, hopefully we can get to him."
The 20th-ranked Aggies have won five consecutive games since losing at home to No. 3 Florida in their season opener. In four of the five victories, Texas A&M scored at least 48 points. Last weekend, the Aggies won a 59-57 shootout against Louisiana Tech.
Manziel accounted for an SEC-record 576 yards against the Bulldogs. He ran for 181 yards and three touchdowns and completed 24 of 40 passes for 395 yards and three touchdowns. In six games, Manziel has nearly 2,400 yards of total offense.
One area in which Miles said he must see improvement is red-zone offense. LSU had four drives that reached at least the South Carolina 15 yard-line but did not produce touchdowns. Drew Alleman attempted four field goals, making three and missing one.
"We have to take care of our responsibilities" in the red zone, Miles said. "We can't turn the ball over. We have to execute well. Our guys are more understanding that we're getting down there so often and not coming away with 7s. We are normally getting 3s. That has to change."
Against the Gamecocks, the field goals were enough to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time in four years and keep LSU in the hunt for a national title.
In that game, however, the Tigers rode the energy of a pumped-up home crowd in Death Valley, where they've now won a school record 22 straight.
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