COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Derrius Guice stuffed a Texas A&M turkey full of yards and touchdowns Thursday night while Leonard Fournette could only watch on television back home with his ankle injury.
Guice, LSU’s No. 2 tailback, filled in for the injured Fournette and then some as he broke the school record for yards in a game set by Fournette just last month by gaining 285 yards on 37 carries while scoring four touchdowns to lead the No. 25 Tigers over No. 22 Texas A&M, 54-39, in front of 102,961 at Kyle Field.
“He’s no surprise to us,” said Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, who watched Guice gain 79 yards on 10 carries in a 19-7 win over the Aggies last season. “He’s a home run hitter.”
LSU (7-4, 5-3 Southeastern Conference) finished the regular season with a flourish, totaling 622 yards as quarterback Danny Etling also played his best game as a Tiger, completing 20 of 28 passes for 324 yards and two touchdowns. It was the second most total yards ever for an LSU road team. The Tigers gained 630 in a win over Ole Miss in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1987. And all 622 came against former LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis, who is still embroiled in a lawsuit over his contract buyout with LSU.
“We couldn’t get off the field on defense in the second half,” said Sumlin, who watched Chavis’ defense allow 34 points and 346 yards in the second half. “It wasn’t third down. It was getting off the field. There were issues. It was first and second down.”
It was just about every down.
The Tigers took a 7-0 lead with 13:16 to go in the first quarter on Guice’s first touchdown – a 45-yard scamper. He added another 45-yard touchdown early in the third quarter for a 27-10 lead, then scored on a 6-yard run for a 34-10 lead with 7:45 to play. He scored his last touchdown on a 1-yard run for a 54-33 lead with 4:59 to go.
Fournette had set the game rushing record on Oct. 22 against Ole Miss when he shook off his season-long ankle injury after missing the previous game, gaining 284 yards on 16 carries with three touchdowns against the Rebels.
Guice, who suffered two critical fumbles inside the 10-yard line in the 16-10 loss to Florida last week and ran the wrong way on the ill-fated last play of the game from the Gators’ 1, held onto the ball…