Usually when the Auburn Tigers and LSU Tigers meet in their annual SEC West contest, it’s a dramatic affair that comes down to the wire. In fact, the four games from 2016-19 were decided by a combined total of 12 points. On this Halloween in 2020 however, LSU only scored 11 points as they were soundly defeated at the hands of Auburn by a score of 48 to 11.
It did not look like 59 points would be scored in this one early on. After LSU received the opening kick, the teams traded punts on the first four drives in the 1st quarter before LSU had a drive resulting in a missed field goal bring a close the quarter. To start the 2nd quater, Auburn fumbled and handed the ball over to LSU only for the Bayou Bengals to hand it right back via an interception by Nehemiah Pritchett that the sophomore returned 48 yards to the LSU 4 yard line.
The scoring ribbon was finally cut after this interception as Bo Nix completed a short TD pass to Eli Stove. This was only the beginning of a deluge, however. With 5:27 left in the 2nd, T.J. Finley made another mistake as he fumbled a sack that Christian Tutt recovered and returned 20 yards for a TD. 14-0 Auburn.
Looking to build some sort of momentum on the ensuing drive, LSU instead went 11 yards and punted. Following the punt that was downed at the 1 yard line, Auburn proceeded to march 99 yards in just under three minutes to go up 21-0. Cade York then kicked a 50 yard field goal for LSU to end the half at 21-3, but as nice as a 50 yarder is for a college kicker, it felt sad.
The boat race continued in the 2nd half as Auburn scored touchdowns on their first four drives. LSU simply had no answers on defense and looked like they did in their games against Mississippi State and Missouri. Bo Nix had maybe the best start of his career going 18/24 passing with 300 yards and no interceptions. Nix added 81 yards on the ground to compliment his aerial attack. Tank Bigsby had a decent day rushing as well and finished with 71 yards on 15 carries.
We had seen LSU’s defense play poorly this season, but this was the first time the offense looked inept as well. Auburn dialed up pressure and made the pocket a living hell for T.J. Finley. Third stringer Max Johnson came into the game in the 3rd quarter to provide a spark for LSU. He provided a garbage time touchdown, but there still wasn’t much to be thrilled about for the crew from Red Stick. Auburn out gained LSU 506 to 347 with LSU only mustering 32 rushing yards. Replacing so many starters from last season on both sides of the ball was always going to be tough, but the growing pains have been much stronger than anticipated.
With Gus Malzhan’s seat again downgraded to slightly warm, Auburn moves to 4-2 and heads for a BYE next week before travelling to Starkville on 11/14. LSU, now 2-4 and reeling, has a bye as well next week and then...Alabama.