No. 10 Auburn at LSU: Game outlook, where to watch, listen
Pregame analysis of Auburn’s game at LSU:
What: Auburn Tigers (5-1, 2-0 SEC) at LSU Tigers (4-2, 1-1)
When: 2:30 p.m Central time., Saturday
Where: Tiger Stadium (102,321), Baton Rouge, La.
Rankings: Auburn is No. 10 in The Associated Press poll and No. 11 in the coaches’ rankings. LSU is unranked.
Line: Auburn by 6
On the Air: TV — CBS. Radio — WLWI-FM 92.3 FM, WMSP-AM 740, Sirius 145, XM 190
1.Have a cigar: It’s well known by now that Auburn hasn’t won in Baton Rouge since the legendary “Cigar Game” in 1999 when Auburn players were photographed lighting victory cigars at midfield of Tiger Stadium. So since it’s been 18 years since Auburn has walked away from the LSU with a football win, the Tigers could help cement their legacy by ending the streak.
2. The Key to LSU’s defense is No. 49: Arden Key has returned to LSU’s defense after missing the first two games of the 2017 season, but so far he hasn’t looked like the player who dominated opposing backfields last season. Through four games Key has only 0.5 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be forgotten by the Auburn coaching staff. Malzahn said the Tigers will know exactly where No. 49 is on every play and he’ll be accounted for.
3. Stidham travels to Death Valley No. 2: The seemingly always positive and upbeat Jarrett Stidham said Sunday he’s excited for his first trip to Baton Rouge. If Stidham can continue to be efficient with the football and continue to lead the Southeastern Conference in pass completion percentage after this week, then Auburn is likely to come away with a victory — a much better result from when the Tigers visited Clemson’s Death Valley and lost earlier in the year.
4. Mr. Versatility, Austin Golson: Auburn’s most versatile offensive weapon may be an offensive lineman from Prattville. Golson joked Sunday that he’s played every offensive line positions in his three-year Auburn career, including blocking tight end. If Mike Horton can’t be at 100 percent healthy following a severe ankle sprain against Ole Miss last weekend, then expect the left guard spot to be taken by Golson and Prince Tega Wanogho to take over at left tackle once again.
Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown vs. LSU center Will Clapp: Beyond the shifts, movement and what Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele calls “eye candy” before the snap, the only consistent element of LSU’s offense right now is running Derrius Guice in between the tackles. However, Guice had just 76 yards at Mississippi State, 50 yards at Florida and 14 yards vs. Syracuse. For him to have holes to run through, LSU’s interior offensive line is going to have to move the emerging Derrick Brown at the five technique position after Brown had a career high six tackles and two tackles for loss against Ole Miss last week.
Player of the week
Jarrett Stidham, quarterback, sophomore, 6-foot-3, 214 pounds: In his last national television exposure against a powerhouse program, Stidham was sacked 11 times and Auburn gained only 15 yards of total offense in the second half of a 14-6 loss at Clemson. Stidham says he’s ready for redemption and he’ll get that chance Saturday in his first CBS appearance in an Auburn uniform. Since the Clemson game, Stidham has completed 79 percent of his passes (72 of 91) for an average of 270.25 yards a game. If he has those type of numbers against an aggressive LSU defense, Auburn will win in another blowout.
By the numbers
6: Auburn is No. 6 nationally in scoring defense.
12: Auburn tailback Kerryon Johnson leads the nation with 12 rushing touchdowns, 11 of which have come in Southeastern Conference play.
14: Auburn is 14-for-14 in the red zone with 12 touchdowns in its first three SEC contests.
413: Daniel Carlson has 413 points, which is an SEC record. With last week’s 14-point effort against Ole Miss, he moved ahead of Blair Walsh, who scored 412 points during 2008-11 at Georgia.
This game can be broken down to one crucial element and question: Can LSU quarterback Danny Etling throw the ball down the field well enough (or at all) to steal a home upset from a Top 10 team and an elite defense like Auburn’s. I say no and the statistics back up my prediction on this. LSU should have trouble moving the ball all afternoon and Auburn’s offense will wear down a tired LSU defense.
Auburn 21, LSU 10