COLLEGE STATION — Jimbo Fisher flashed a sly grin as he walked off Kyle Field with most of the Texas A&M student body chanting his name on the field behind him.
Maybe it was relief. Maybe even excitement. But it’s hard for Fisher to deny that Saturday night’s historic 74-72 seven overtime win against No. 7 LSU was a season-defining victory for a coach tasked with returning the Aggies to the upper echelon of NCAA football.
“They set a standard for what that Aggie helmet means, and hopefully we’re getting to what that standard is and we can grow from that,” Fischer said. “You’ve still got to go play the next game, but it shows they can get over the hump. It’s a catalyst win if you build on things.”
It tied the longest game in NCAA football history and was the highest-scoring game in FBS history. The two teams combined for 1,017 yards on 197 plays.
Texas A&M snapped a seven-game losing streak against LSU, and this was the first win for the Aggies over the Tigers since they joined the SEC in 2012.
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron was doused in Gatorade after the Tigers picked off A&M quarterback Kellen Mond late in regulation. But a review determined his knee was down.
Mond spiked the ball with one second left on the clock and threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Quartney Davis on the final play of regulation. Seven overtimes and more than an hour later, Mond hit Kendrick Rodgers for the game-winning 2-point conversion.
The sophomore quarterback never lost his composure or got nervous.
“These are the nights we live for as a team,” Mond said. “My role is just to make sure they feed off of me. The way we fought through seven overtimes was phenomenal and we really fought tonight.”
The sophomore quarterback finished with 287 yards passing and six touchdowns. Rodgers caught two touchdowns for 53 yards and Davis had seven receptions for 101 yard and two scores. Trayveon Williams had 198 yards and two touchdowns rushing.
LSU kicker Cole Tracy made a 50-yard field goal to get overtime started after missing a 49-yard try in the first half. Both teams converted their 2-point conversions in the third and sixth OT, both failed in the fifth and settled for a field goal in the fifth.
“I lost track of overtimes, I ain’t even gonna lie,” Fisher said.
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow ran for two touchdowns and threw a third in overtime. He finished 25-for-38 for 270 yarded three touchdowns and ran for a team-high 132 yards on 29 attempts.
The offensive numbers were gaudy, but the A&M defense, led by the seniors playing in their final game at Kyle Field, was stout when they needed to be. Donovan Wilson had 13 tackles, Otaro Alaka finished with 11 tackles and two sacks and Daylon Mack had a pair of sacks.
“We were talking about it this whole week, what would be a better way to send the seniors out than a win against a team we haven’t beat,” Alaka said. “It means a lot to us and it means a lot to this team.”
Even the players knew the first year of the Jimbo era was going to be a stepping stone. The $75 million man was brought in and given a decade-long contract to help A&M do things it has never done in more than 100 years of football.
Saturday night may have been just the begging, but it’s a moment that nobody will ever forget.
“This really paves the way for the new direction this program is going,” Williams said. “It’s exciting to be a part of this foundation. LSU was gassed, but we were just getting started. Couldn’t be more excited for the guys in that locker room.”