It was Saturday night when LSU doused coach Ed Orgeron with Gatorade, and Sunday morning when the Tigers lost, seven overtimes and a combined 91 points later.
Texas A&M 74, LSU 72 — in football, not basketball, and you knew it would take LSU’s mediocre offense all of seven overtimes to get there. The game was so long … well, how long was it? Well, Texas A&M was in the Big 12 Conference when the game started. It was so long … it’s a good thing the Aggies aren’t paying Jimbo Fisher by the hour.
It was 31-24 with just seconds left when the Tigers dropped a few dozen gallons of sugar on Orgeron’s head, and LSU’s head coach wore the sticky liquid for the next hour-plus as a reminder of how close his team came to locking down a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl. But A&M quarterback Kellen Mond tossed a 19-yard touchdown strike as time expired to force overtime. And then …
An LSU field goal to make it 34-31. A&M ties it, 34-34. Second overtime. Mond’s touchdown run. LSU touchdown run. Third overtime. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow throws a touchdown and the Tigers notch the two-point conversion. A&M answers to make it 49-49. LSU fans ask each other: Excuse me, what happened here?
Matching field goals to knot the score at 52-52. Water break. The fifth overtime began with a trick play: Orgeron and LSU dialed up the halfback pass to make it 58-52 but miss on the conversion. Don’t worry — A&M obliged by scoring a touchdown but missing on the two-point try. It was 66-58, then 66-66. LSU opened the seventh and final overtime with a touchdown, making it 72-66. Mond would then throw another touchdown pass, his fourth in overtime play and sixth overall, to tie the game at 72-72. Mond would then find receiver Kendrick Rogers for the game-winning conversion. The final: 74-72.
It’s the highest-scoring game in Football Bowl Subdivision history at 146 points, shattering the previous record of 139 points set in Western Michigan’s 71-68 win against Buffalo a year ago, also in overtime. LSU’s 72 points are the most ever scored in a losing effort. The Tigers had scored a combined 79 points in their previous four SEC games.
It’s college football, and it’s the SEC, and it’s refereeing, and it’s seven overtimes, so you knew there was going to be controversy. LSU had issues with two calls in particular, both in the final seconds of the Aggies’ game-tying drive to end regulation.
On one, LSU believed it had intercepted Mond to seal the win, only to have referees review the play and call that Mond’s knee had been on the turf when he received a low snap, ending the play. And after Mond spiked the ball after converting a long fourth down, a review ruled that there was still one second on the clock. LSU players who had just given Orgeron a Gatorade shower had to return to the field for another play. It was a touchdown, A&M, and we were headed for overtime.