LSU Football: Winners and Losers from the Week 8 Game vs. Texas A&M

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent IOctober 22, 2012

COLLEGE STATION, TX - OCTOBER 20:  Michael Ford #42 celebrates a touchdown with Jarvis Landry #80 of the LSU Tigers against the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field on October 20, 2012 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Johnny football who?

Les Miles and the LSU Tigers heard about Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel. But when it was all said and done, the Tigers left College Station with an impressive road victory, calming the hype surrounding Manziel.

LSU rushed for a combined 219 yards and that relentless Tigers defense pressured Manziel into throwing a season-high three interceptions in a 24-19 come-from-behind victory on Saturday afternoon at Kyle Field.

We know that LSU's backfield was special in this one, but who was the standout star?

Let's find out as we go ahead and point out five winners and losers from the Tigers' Week 8 victory over the Aggies.

Winner: Jeremy Hill

For the second straight week, Jeremy Hill served as the workhorse back for this LSU team.

For the second straight week, Hill answered the call.

The freshman back rushed for a game-high 127 yards and a touchdown in the victory. Hill averaged an eye-popping 7.1 yards per carry on 18 carries, which included his 47-yard breakaway touchdown score late in the game, which sealed the victory for the Tigers.

This LSU backfield has been far from predictable this season, but it looks like Jeremy Hill has established himself as the new main back on campus in Baton Rouge.

This was as good as it gets for the standout freshman back.

Loser: Johnny Manziel

Manziel had a lot of hype surrounding his name coming into this game, and being on the national stage, many expected the talented freshman to shine on Saturday.

He was anything but exceptional, and plenty of that credit can go toward this LSU defense.

Manziel struggled throughout this game, especially in the second half. As mentioned earlier, he threw a career-high three interceptions, but it was his running game that really disappeared in this contest.

Manziel was the leading rusher in the SEC entering this game, but his measly 27 yards on 17 carries was certainly not the performance one would expect from the top rusher in the top conference in college football.

This kid has a bright future ahead of him, but Saturday just wasn't his day against this dominant LSU defensive unit.

Winner: LSU Secondary

Tharold Simon, Jalen Collins, Eric Reid—take your pick.

The entire LSU secondary was exceptional on Saturday. Not only did this unit hold Johnny Manziel in check, but they also made several key turnovers, which is something that everyone has been waiting to see from this defense.

Simon and Collins each recorded an interception, while Reid and Craig Loston laid some big hits and helped prevent the deep pass.

The longest pass of the day for Texas A&M was just 27 yards, which is an exceptional number, considering this Texas A&M team features one of the highest scoring offenses in all of college football this season.

If this secondary can play like this on a consistent basis, it's hard to believe any team will take down LSU throughout the remainder of the 2012 campaign.

Loser: Ben Malena

When looking at the stat sheet, Ben Malena had a pretty solid game.

But the story is much bigger than a stat sheet.

In addition to his 82 yards rushing, Malena had a crucial fumble late in the second half at midfield.

Sure enough, LSU recovered the fumble, drove down the field and Zach Mettenberger hit Kadron Boone for a 29-yard touchdown to give LSU the lead heading into the half.

What made that fumble even more crucial is that Texas A&M never led again in the game.

Winner: Brad Wing

Is there really any debate on whether or not this guy is the best punter in the country?

LSU has a great defense, but outside of that running game, this offense is pretty mediocre. Because of that, the team relies on their sophomore punter to put the opposing team in poor field position.

Wing has done that all season long, and he was exceptional again in this game.

The Australian punter booted 10 balls for a combined 451 yards in the game against Texas A&M. He recorded two touchbacks, one inside the 20-yard line and one that traveled an eye-popping 65 yards.

The punter position is often one of the most overlooked positions in football, but this kid truly is something special.

Brad Wing is the best punter in college football and a luxury for this LSU football team. 


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