Among the many marvelous matchups that were tabled for Saturday, the No. 5 Auburn Tigers clashing with the No. 15 LSU Tigers was a much desired encounter by the ravenous fans of college football. And why not? Typically, LSU is one of the premier teams in the country, and the dynamic Auburn offense is nothing if not entertaining. And if the last few weeks -- or even years -- are indicative of anything, SEC football is the cream of the crop.
Well, unfortunately, some things don't always go according to plan.
Behind a dominant 300+ all-purpose yard performance by senior quarterback Nick Marshall, Auburn pasted LSU to move to 5-0 and 2-0 in SEC play, with the tally of 41-7.
The Pineview, Ga., native was nearly as spectacular through the air as he was on the ground. Ever fleet-footed, Marshall skedaddled his way to 119 yards on the run, which was just seven yards behind the game-high tally of 126. With his arm, Marshall completed 14 of 22 attempts, threw for 207, and had two passing touchdowns to go along with his two on the run, all of which were scored in the first half.
The Tigers ground game was aided not only by Marshall, but by senior running back Cameron Artis-Payne. Artis-Payne pulverized LSU for most of the evening, rushing for a game-high 126 yards, adding to his already impressive tally on the season. The performance gives him 594 yards rushing on the year, with his longest run of the night being a 34-yard scamper.
Capping off this tremendous Tiger triple threat is Sammie Coates. The 6-foot-2 junior wide receiver played sensationally under the lights of Jordan-Hare Stadium, snagging four receptions for a staggering 144 yards. This prodigious night comes after coming into the game with just five receptions for 56 yards throughout the entire season.
For LSU, this was an abysmal performance, and comes just two weeks after their hard luck loss to the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Baton Rouge. LSU's ground game was hardly an issue, as they rushed for 138 yards as a team, but through the air, it was not pretty. Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris combined to complete just eight of 23 passing attempts and 142 yards, allotting for a yards per attempt of just 5.9. Defensively, they were torn up, and this marks the second time in three games that the LSU Tigers defense has given up 34 points or more.
For as hard as it is to feel good if you're an LSU fan, it's as easy to feel good if you're an Auburn fan, as the Tigers are primed to take a big leap in the polls after a chaotic Saturday.