Game time: 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT
Radio: Auburn Sports Network
How to watch online: http://www.cbssports.com/college-football/sec-live/
Odds: Auburn (-7), 44 (O/U)
By now everyone’s probably been reminded that the last time Auburn beat LSU in Baton Rouge was 1999. I was 10 years old at the time. Everyone was printing directions from MapQuest, renting movies from Blockbuster and setting up their MySpace accounts. Bill Clinton was President and the world was panicked about Y2K.
A lot has happened since then, but you know what hasn’t happened? Auburn hasn’t beaten LSU in Death Valley. Saturday could be the day that changes. Auburn is rolling into town on a four-game win streak and firing on all cylinders. LSU has two losses on the year — one to Mississippi State and one to Troy.
Ed Orgeron, his boss and his two coordinators have a weird relational dynamic. Quite frankly, the Tigers of Baton Rouge haven’t looked very good. Still, they picked up their most impressive win of the season last week at Florida and are hoping that’s the spark they needed to get them going.
So what should we expect on Saturday?
LSU offense vs. Auburn defense
There’s no reason to believe that Derrius Guice or Darrel Williams will be 100 percent going into this game. That’s a problem. Especially considering the likelihood that LSU will have three freshmen starting on the offensive line. The Auburn defense is giving up just 111 rushing yards per game and has allowed only three rushing touchdowns all year.
Then there’s Danny Etling and the LSU air raid. In SEC play, LSU averages 131 passing yards per game. Yikes. Maybe Matt Canada can dial up some play-action that gives his Tigers some success. That’s assuming the offensive line gives Etling enough time to throw the ball.
Auburn offense vs. LSU defense
Auburn is averaging 228 rushing yards per game. (Keep in mind that’s happening without a completely healthy Kamryn Pettway or Kerryon Johnson.) LSU will have senior DE Frank Herron back on the field, which will no doubt help their effort. Nevertheless, Dave Aranda’s defense is giving up 245 rushing yards per game in their two losses. In their four wins his unit is giving up just 83 per game. So for Auburn to come away with a win on Saturday, they have to be able to run the football.
Jarrett Stidham has gotten better each week, and Auburn will need him at his best in Baton Rouge. Last week against Florida, LSU sacked quarterback Feleipe Franks five times. I think they’ll get to Stidham some on Saturday, but hopefully not five times. LSU is allowing 171 passing yards per game, which ranks 18th in the country. It won’t be easy, but if the offensive line can hold up against a very talented LSU defensive front, I think Stidham will have success.
This game makes me more nervous than I want to admit. On paper, I feel confident that Auburn will fly home from Baton Rouge with their first win since 1999. In real life, the intangibles make me anxious. All that being said, this is the best offense LSU has seen all year. Auburn is coming to town and they’re bringing the momentum with them. Plus, this Auburn defense is just too good to get outplayed by a team that’s looked as inept offensively as LSU.
Auburn 37, LSU 14