A Western Battle

Saturday Spotlight

(10) Auburn Tigers at LSU Tigers

Auburn: During the off-season, they were projected to be a big-time threat to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC West. Let’s be realistic here, these guys haven’t done much since the 2013 season. Remember, that’s when they stunned Alabama at home on a last-minute touchdown on a short field goal, they won the SEC Title, and got to the National Championship game and fell short to Florida State when some guy named Jameis was quarterbacking the Seminoles. Right now, Gus Malzahn has the Auburn Tigers at 5-1 and in second place in the SEC West behind, of course, Alabama. They love to run the football and they average 228 yards per game on the ground. Running back Kerryon Johnson has rushed for 504 yards and a dozen touchdown, which is tops in the entire SEC. Along with those numbers, Auburn is ranked fourth in in the conference at running the pigskin. They’ve been firing on all cylinders the last three weeks and they’ll look to keep the ball rolling today with a trip to Baton Rouge to take on the Tigers of LSU.

LSU: Each year, there is always some type of optimism for them and they always find a way to struggle and play inconsistent football. They sit at 4-2 and they enter this week after winning a game they had to truly grind out in Gainesville against the Florida Gators last week. Derrius Guice was supposed to come in and be the guy to replace Leonard Fournette, but, he’s had trouble staying on the field. Injuries all around have really hurt them. Rashard Lewis and Edwin Alexander, two defensive guys have been hampered by the injury bug. Their defense overall has been solid. Dave Aranda and his troops have been great when it comes to stopping the run. In their four wins, they’ve allowed only 83 yards per game and in the losses is where they’ve struggled as they’ve allowed over 240 per contest. Now, let’s break down their offense. They’ve had a lot of consistent questions at quarterback for years now. Danny Etling hasn’t really stood out. In SEC play, LSU’s passing game averages 131 yards a contest. That will not win many games in the league unless the Tigers get a lot of help. You just never know what to really expect from this side of the football. This is a big home game with a streaking Auburn team in town today.

Auburn Player To Watch: Derrick Brown– He’s a defensive lineman that loves to clog up the middle and he can tackle in space. I see him giving the Tigers offensive line a lot of problems if they don’t get to him early. Brown had a career-high six tackles and two tackles for loss vs. Ole Miss last week.

LSU Player To Watch: Danny Etling– What guy will show up today for the Tigers? You always need a big game out of your quarterback and he has to step it up against a defense that can get after the quarterback. He just has to take care of the ball and not turn it over.

Final Analysis: LSU enters this game with an eight-game winning streak against Auburn at home in Baton Rouge. For LSU, they need to find a way to have some type of success through the air. If they can find some success off the play-action and take some deep shots, it will work in their favor. The offensive line for Auburn must keep Jared Stidham protected.

Prediction: Auburn 28 LSU 23