It isn’t the most headline-grabbing matchup of the day in the SEC, but that doesn’t mean the stakes aren’t high when LSU and Auburn kickoff on Saturday night. A lot of the characters in this story have something to prove. Here’s all you need to know before kickoff.
How To Watch
Kickoff: 9 PM ET
Stream: ESPN App
Odds via Oddshark
Spread: LSU -3 / Auburn +3
ML: LSU -150 / Auburn +135
There’s a lot to dive into here. It seems like there always is when these two get together. It’s been a series filled with almost any type of game you could imagine.
It got a little more interesting last week when Auburn struggled with Georgia State and turned to TJ Finley, former LSU quarterback. Finley, the sophomore from Ponchatoula, Louisiana, led Auburn to a comeback win.
There’s no official word on who will get the start at quarterback for Auburn, but the feeling seems to be that it will be Finley. At this point, it would be hard for Bryan Harsin to defend rolling Nix out there.
Finley had some success with LSU last year. He led the Tigers to wins over South Carolina and Arkansas in a year where wins were hard to come by for LSU.
One thing that could make things a little easier on that Auburn passing game is the absence of LSU’s Derek Stingley Jr for a second game in a row. LSU has plenty of depth at corner with Eli Ricks, Cordale Flott, and Dwight McGlothern, but it’s a big loss nonetheless.
If Auburn wins this game, it likely won’t be because they threw it 35 or 40 times. It’s going to be the running game. Auburn running backs Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter rank third and fourth in the SEC in rushing yards.
Together, the Auburn RB duo has over 20 runs of 10+ yards and Bigsby is one of the best after contact runners in the country.
The biggest question on the LSU defense remains the linebackers and safeties. LSU will need their LB’s meeting the Auburn backs in the hole on Saturday night and can’t afford missed tackles from safeties in run support.
LSU should count on their pass rushers to help keep Auburn off schedule and force Mike Bobo’s offense into obvious passing downs.
If the LSU defense can find some ways to get their offense some short fields, that would go a long way to a purple and gold win.
It’s hard to figure out what the LSU offense is at the moment and the Auburn defense is a puzzle in it’s own right.
Auburn’s defense has put up some impressive numbers but their schedule makes it hard to gauge how good they really are. There were some moments against Penn State where they failed to come up big and I’m still not exactly sure how good the Penn State offense is.
LSU’s offensive line will need to have their best game of the season for the offense to be efficient. Max Johnson has been pressured more than any quarterback in the SEC and it’s become pretty obvious how much better he is when he’s feeling comfortable.
The LSU wide receivers are going to get open. The question will be whether Max Johnson has enough time to find them. LSU can’t wait until the second half to get the passing game in rhythm.
This game is really tough to pick. Both teams sit at interesting points with some things to like and even more questions. I wouldn’t bet money on this game, but I think LSU squeaks out a close win under the lights.