"These guys should have won 10:" LSU loses senseless overtime thriller to fall short of the season goals



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COLLEGE STATION, Texas – He looked forward, sitting on the still slightly damp podium of the famous Gatorade bath that he received 90 minutes before the game actually finished, simply trying to understand the absurd.

What could Ed Orgeron say about it? How could the LSU coach talk about football on a night that defied anything anyone would understand about the game?

Seven overtime punches in the postgame game played, at least three times the game seemed definitely finished just to be called back by the referees, and meanwhile people kept asking Orgeron and his players to try to make sense of everything.

"I do not think you can," Foster Moreau said.

The LSU's No. 7 (9-3, 5-3 SEC) missed the end of the regular season 74-72 to No. 22 Texas A & M on one of the most absurd nights of football that most can remember. Both sides made notable plays and responded challenge after challenge, which took seven minutes to complete.

This LSU game will go down in history

But Orgeron had a hard time dissecting the seven overtimes or any of the parts involved, because he did not think those overtime should have been played.

He was not hostile. He was not emotional. He just said matter-of-factly: This game was taken from the LSU.

The game seemed to have ended with the LSU leading 31-24 at the end of the standings and Texas A & M downfield. The Aggies arrived at 19 and tried to hit the ball, but the time expired, until the officials decided that there should be a second placed on the clock.

Kellen Mond, of Texas A & M, used that second to launch a 19-yard touchdown pass to Quartney Davis to send the game to overtime.

"In my opinion, that second should never have been put on that watch," Orgeron said.

The NCAA rulebook states that a player can not hit the ball with less than three seconds on the clock, and the clock must expire. Orgeron said he was never given a good reason this would not be the case on Saturday.

LSU analyst Steve Kragthorpe punched the post-match fight

So with almost every question that Orgeron received after the game about his team and the disputes and all football itself, he tried to respond as best he could before returning to the fact that this should not matter.

There was the interception of Grant Delpit who was called back because Mond's knee fell on a fumble before launch. There was the controversial point of the ball for a first descent on the fourth and 18th. There was the second placed back on the clock. There was the fumble forced by Delpit officials ruled as an incomplete pass. There was arguable interference Greedy Williams in the final two-point conversion.

From time to time, this game seemed to be an official LSU win, and, time after time, the official word was thrown out just to give Texas A & M another chance, and the Aggies never missed those chances.

And when all those events occurred – the remarkable Kendrick Rogers picks up or the frustrating calls – Orgeron just turned to his players, put on a big smile and say, "We got some extra football, baby."


STF
Students and fans celebrate with Texas A & M soccer players after an NCAA college football game against LSU Saturday, November 24, 2018 in College Station, Texas. Texas A & M won 74-72 in the seventh extension. (AP Photo / David J. Phillip) AP David J. Phillip

When it was all over, however, Orgeron could not help but feel cheated. This was not just a season finale for the LSU, it was a chance to go 10-2 and win double-digit games in a regular season for the first time since 2012.

It's an arbitrary number, but it did matter. Right or wrong, there is a world of difference between the optics of 10-2 and 9-3, especially in a school like the LSU so full of mediocrity. Shoot, Orgeron would have won a $ 100,000 bonus with a win.

Then Orgeron smiled and frustratedly agreed on the importance of not reaching the mark of the 10 winners in such a chaotic way.

"These guys should have won 10 games," he said. "These guys wanted that. These guys worked hard. They deserved it. That second should never have been put on the clock.

This is what made the Sabbath so difficult to digest. He reached a point in the seven-hour contest that the conclusion seemed so far from the original 60 minutes, regardless of who won.

Both sides had players after a player suffering bruises, and both were making absurd and creative pieces, such as Clyde Edwards-Helaire's LSU pass to defender Tory Carter for a touchdown.

"This was the craziest game I ever played," said LSU rider Cole Tracy. "I think we'd all probably say the same thing."

LSU players react to controversial loss

However, those seven overtime hours will be covered up, and what will be remembered in the grand scheme of things is the value of nine wins, instead of ten.

The LSU did not reach the goal that mattered so much.

And the vibe after the game was not so much of tears and anger as of disbelief. An absurd night of football took place on Saturday night, and no one could understand in the next moments.

But there was Ed Orgeron, the guy who was covered in Gatorade two hours earlier because his team thought he won, having to get back on the road recruiting Monday without that 10-2 record to brag.

"It was nothing on me," he said. "These guys are hurting. That's all about them. They fought and fought hard. "

So the LSU was fogged up so it would not land in Baton Rouge on the way home, so its flight had to land in New Orleans. They had no buses and no way to get home.

So the team that just lost a seven-hour wrecker sat in their seats on the track, still trying to figure out the absurd.

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