LSU Locks in, Stomps Texas A-M in Cotton Bowl

Posted by puguh on Saturday, January 8, 2011

LSU Locks in, Stomps Texas A&M in Cotton Bowl. Texas A&M made things interesting early, but in the end the LSU Tigers were too fast and too powerful as they rolled to a 41--24 win Friday night during 75th installment of the AT&T Cotton Bowl.

The 11-ranked Tigers scored 21 unanswered points during a critical stretch from the second quarter to early in third to pull away from what had been a back-and-forth first-half contest. LSU (11-2) all but put it away during the opening drive of the second half when quarterback Jordan Jefferson hooked up with receiver Terrence Toliver for a 41-yard touchdown reception -- their third such connection on the night -- to give the Tigers a commanding 35-17 lead in front of 83,514 at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium.

The win in this classic Big 12-SEC matchup put a positive ending on a somewhat tumultuous postseason for the Tigers, who didn't know until this week whether or not they would have the services of star running back Stevan Ridley. It was good thing they did because his power running helped open up the passing attack to completely foiled A&M's improved defense.

The 18th-ranked Aggies, meanwhile, saw their winning streak end at six games and they suffered their first loss with junior quarterback Ryan Tannehill at the controls. A&M (9-4) has now lost five straight bowl games and nine of its last 10 postseason opportunities.

The Tigers offense was dominating during much of the night, but it was really their offense that carried the day. LSU defense pressured Tannehill with all out blitzes all night, forcing him into an uncharacteristic three interceptions on the night.

Tannehill's ending was in stark contrast to the way he began the game when he led the Aggies to a surprising 10-0 lead in the first quarter to set the stage for shootout in the first two quarters.

In what became a wild first half, the Tigers came out on top with a 28-17 lead going into halftime. Both teams exchanged leads on three successive possessions before LSU took the lead for good on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Jefferson to Tolliver for the 11-point lead with 1:27 remaining in the half.

The final touchdown of the first half was set on Tannehill's second interception in an as many series. The first interception didn't cost the Aggies anything, but strong safety Eric Reid's pick and subsequent return to the A&M 2 did. Three plays later the Tigers scored on the fade route to Tolliver.

The combined 45 points tied a Cotton Bowl record for points scored in the first half.

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