By Arnie Leshin
It took a long time, but Texas A & M finally got a win over LSU.
In fact, Saturday night’s clash was not only the longest college football game of this past weekend, but no doubt one of the longest at any time.
It could have continued on to a record eighth overtime if the Aggies hadn’t ended it at 11:15 p.m. Texas time by getting past visiting LSU 74-72 in a tilt that kicked off at 6 o’clock during dinner time and wound up when most people are sleeping.
That’s five hours and 15 minutes that the College Station crowd sat through. And for those getting ready to exit at various times, oops, here comes another OT. It was an exciting game, but ran later and later as each team started at its own 25 in the overtime format.
And when all was done (it would have been past the midnight hour on EST), at least the home fans were able to see the 27th ranked Aggies ( 8-4 overall) defeat the Bayou Tigers for the first time since 1995, end a 7-game losing streak to the purple and gold, and a fall to seventh on the latest poll for LSU.
This was the fifth time that an NCAA college contest lasted through seven overtimes, with a record number eight not getting that far when A & M quarterback Kellen Mond’s 2-point conversion pass to Kendrick Rogers put an end to this marathon.
In the OT, the PAT can be kicked for the first two, but after that, it has to be the 2-pointer. So whenthe Bayou Tigers went ahead 72-66 in the seventh overtime, they failed on the pass for two. Mond then took over with a chance win it if his team scored a TD and made the 2-point conversion.
So Mond quickly found Quartney Davis on a 17-yard toss to tie it at 72. The conversion failed, but when LSU’s Greedy Williams was called for pass interference, it gave the Aggies new life. Then,after a false start by Mond, his next throw was the game-winner.
Before this, the Bayou Tigers’ Joe Burrow had run for a 10-yard touchdown, but when the conversion pass failed, it was Mond’s time and he succeeded as LSU dropped to 9-3 overall and 5-3 in the Southeastern Conference to tie with the Aggies in conference play.
To make matters worse for the visitors, their head coach Ed Orgeron’s had already had the Gatorade celebration after he was prematurely doused after his team appeared to have a clinching interception late in the fourth quarter, but the play was reviewed and it ruled that Mond’s knee was down before he got the throw away.
That set up the wild finish that accumulated about 40 minutes. In the sextuple overtime, Mond connected on a 25-yard TD pass to Jace Sternberger and Rogers’ conversion tied things at 66-all. Then Burrow found the lead at 72-66, but the conversion failed on a wobbling pass, and A & M needed to score a TD and add the two points, which it did.
In his lengthy stay on the field, Mond threw for 287 yards and six touchdown, and tacked on a trio of 2-point conversions as well as running for a TD.