LSU 17, Texas A&M 8

BATON ROUGE, La. -- First 10th-ranked Texas A&M lost Darren Lewis, then the Aggie defense lost Lousiana State's Todd Kinchen, who caught a 79-yard touchdown pass Saturday night to lead the Tigers to a 17-8 victory.

Lewis, the Aggies' all-time leading rusher, was kicked out of the game in the first quarter after hitting LSU defender Darrell McCorvey with a forearm when the two were out of bounds.


'I'm upset with Darren,' said Aggies Coach R.C. Slocum. 'You can't make those kinds of mistakes. You cannot do that. Darren is upset with himself.'

A&M, 3-1, spent the rest of the first half shooting itself in the foot, throwing three interceptions and couldn't muster any offense until the fourth quarter, when LSU had built a 17-0 lead.

'There's a lot of blame to go around,' Slocum said. 'Lance (Pavlas, the Aggies quarterback) didn't have a great night. He was off it a little bit tonight. The turnovers took their toll.'


With the Tigers holding a 3-0 edge in the fourth quarter, the Aggies lined up for an apparent 37-yard field goal attempt. But holder Brian Payne rolled out and threw an incompletion, giving LSU the ball at their 20.

Three plays later, Kinchen caught fire. On a third-and-9 at their 21, Chad Loup hit Kinchen with a short pass at the 23. Kinchen cut toward the sideline, picked up blockers, then sprinted to the A&M 35 where he cut back and found a path into the end zone.

'There aren't many people that have the skills he has,' said Tigers Coach Mike Archer, whose team improved to 3-1. 'He turned the game around in our favor in the second half.'

The stunned Aggies could do little after that. Kinchen fielded an A&M punt at the Tigers 17 and raced 60 yards through traffic to the Aggies 23.

'I was going to fair-catch it,' said the wide receiver. 'I was still sucking air after that touchdown ... (but) there were nothing but guys blocking people.'

Six plays after Kinchen's punt return, Williams leaped over the middle of the line from the 1 to give the Tigers a 17-0 lead.


Lance Pavlas, who was intercepted twice in the first half, then mounted a 66-yard drive that culminated when he passed to Doug Carter for a 13-yard touchdown. Pavlaspassed to Shane Garrett for the 2-point conversion to cut the LSU lead to 17-8.

'We should have had a shutout,' Archer said. 'Some dumb penalties helped them on their scoring drive.'

After a scoreless first half, A&M stalled on its first series of the third quarter. Sean Wilson's punt was blocked by Mike Garrett, and the Tigers took over at the Aggie 31. Five plays later, Pedro Suarez booted a 26-yard field.

A brutal first half of the game featured three unsportmanslike penalties and a player ejection. Two of those penalties went against the Tigers, each helping to kill LSU drives.

On Texas A&M's first series, Pavlas threw his first interception when Darrell McCorvey picked off a pass at the LSU 39.

The Aggies again moved the ball early in the second quarter, powered by a third-down swinging gate play that gained 9 yards when Garrett scooted down the sideline for the first down at the Tiger 42.

Four plays later, Darren Lewis took a pitchout and swept left, gaining 5 yards before being herded out of bounds by McCorvey. The two players exchanged words and Lewis forearmed McCorvey in the helmet, drawing an unsportsmanlike call and an ejection from the referee.


'I got hit late and the guy pushed me,' Lewis said. 'I pushed back, but I guess I hit him in the head.'

On the next play, the Aggies ran a reverse, with flanker Felton Ransby rolling out and throwing deep downfield, where McCorvey intercepted his second pass of the night.

LSU mounted its best drive of the half late in the second quarter. When the drive stalled, Pedro Suarez came on to try a 38-yard field goal. An A&M player and and LSU player eached jumped the snap as Suarez successfully kicked the field goal. The confused officials ruled the flag was inadvertant and ordered Suarez to kick again.

Derrick Frazier blocked the kick, ending LSU's best hope of a first- half score.

With less than 30 seconds remaining, Pavlas threw his second interception, this one at the LSU 4 to a leaping Anthony Marshall.

Pavlas was a miserable 2-of-7 with 2 interceptions, while Texas A&M gained 100 yards on the ground.

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