ARLINGTON, Texas -- Late in the first quarter, senior linebacker Michael Hodges sprained his ACL. He never did get back in the game.
That injury certainly hurt the Aggies' defense, especially against the run. LSU ended up with 288 rushing yards against a Wrecking Crew defense that was No. 1 against the run in the Big 12 in 2010.
LSU did a good job of blocking and was able to run inside and outside. And the Aggies couldn't stop Jordan Jefferson on some key third downs. But it didn't help not having Hughes in there.
"He is the heart and soul of our defense in many ways," Sherman said. "At the same time, you can't use that as a reason why we didn't perform the way we should have been capable of performing. ... One guy gets hurt, another guy has to step in and make the play."
Kyle Mangan came in and had four tackles (the same number Hodges had before he departed).
"I think Kyle, put in the situation he was in, he played well," defensive end Lucas Patterson said. "You can't replace a player like Hodges."