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Five storylines: LSU vs. Texas A&M

10/18/2012

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU coach Les Miles knows Texas A&M well. He coached at A&M's home stadium, Kyle Field, as head coach at Oklahoma State, but was first introduced to Aggies football while he was a Dallas Cowboys assistant coach in the late 1990s.

Living in the Dallas suburbs, he said he'd notice A&M fans when he'd take his kids to youth sports.

"There was a constant flow of A&M fans," he said. He quickly learned they were a passionate bunch about their team.

Some of them he made friends with. He said he'll look for them Saturday at Kyle Field when LSU visits College Station, Texas.

"I'll look for them and respect very much the traditions of that Aggie school," he said.

More likely, he'll be preoccupied by some of these issues:

1. Repeat performance?

LSU's young offensive line, its fifth offensive line combination in seven games, was outstanding in the Tigers' 23-21 upset of No. 3 South Carolina last week, paving the way for 258 rushing yards and 406 yards overall. Can a line with two starting freshmen put together a repeat performance?

2. Containing Johnny Football

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has taken college football by storm. He's not only the SEC's third-leading passer, but also its leading rusher. With a big performance, he hopes to go from a marginal figure in the Heisman Trophy Race to a legitimate candidate. LSU, which has had success lately defending nimble quarterbacks, hopes to prevent that.

3. Pressure packed

Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore is a one-man wrecking crew with 8.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss. LSU's young offensive line will be challenged to try to block him.

4. Battleground site

With A&M now in the SEC, East Texas promises to be a battleground where LSU and A&M will fight it out for prospects, some who will be attending Saturday's game. Which school will make the first good impression in the new SEC rivalry?

5. Build up for 'Bamagadden III?

There was a assumption coming into this season that the LSU-Alabama game Nov. 3 would again have national championship ramifications. That will remain true for LSU, which has a bye between Saturday's game and the Alabama showdown at Tiger Stadium, if it can beat Texas A&M.