The No. 2 ranked LSU Tigers will take the field Saturday night in Auburn trying to improve their record to 4-0 as they face a familiar foe that is in an unfamiliar place.
The unranked Auburn Tigers will welcome LSU needing a true miracle just to keep the game within a couple scores as they barely limp into the contest with a record of 1-2. Auburn picked up their first win of the season in an overtime thriller against UL Monroe last week . Yeah, that UL Monroe.
[Related: SEC Five Question Reflection, Week 3]
Last season, the Tigers (and when I say “Tigers” I mean the real “Tigers” not the War Eagles or whatever the heck Auburn is calling themselves these days) held serve with a 35 point thrashing against Auburn in Baton Rouge, which seems to be a reasonable outcome for this weekend.
LSU is right where they were expected to be heading into their first conference game. The Tigers have outscored their first three opponents 145-31 thanks in large part to a dominant running game and a dynamic pass rush that features a couple of the best defensive ends in the nation in Kiki Mingo and Sam Montgomery.
The Tigers come into the game a little banged up in the running game, with question marks surrounding the health of Alfred Blue and Spencer Ware. LSU will likely lean on the big bodied duo of Kenny Hilliard and Jeremy Hill, who combined to rush for 177 yards and four touchdowns a week ago.
It was Hill’s first action as a Tiger after receiving a grayshirt last season. The freshman was one of the top backs in the state as a senior at Redemptorist High School in Baton Rouge in 2011.
Along with junior running back Michael Ford, LSU shouldn’t miss a beat rushing the football on an Auburn team that gave up 165 yards on the ground last week against UL-Monroe.
For those out there thinking this could possibly be a trap game for LSU. I’d ask you to think again, as the Tigers have no threat of looking ahead to next week when they’ll take on Towson in Tiger Stadium. So yeah, this LSU team will be ready for Auburn and their 105th ranked scoring offense and 81st ranked scoring defense.
Look for this game to stay relatively close for a portion of the first half before LSU opens the floodgates and thrashes Auburn.
What to watch for…
Like last week, how will the youthful secondary react in their first SEC game of their young careers? Sophomore safety Ronald Martin more than stepped into injured safety Craig Loston’s shoes last week when he snatched two interceptions, including one for a touchdown.
Zach Mettenberger is likely still a week away from putting up the passing numbers that LSU fans have been itching to witness. This week, the running game will likely be featured heavily again, limiting Mettenberger to yet another efficient 200 yards passing and 1-2 touchdowns. Next week’s game against Towson should be a different story.
Auburn Coach Gene Chizik has been known to have a few tricks up his sleeve, but look for whatever he throws at LSU to come miles short with an inferior team and rebuilding defense.
Prediction: LSU 42 Auburn 17
SEC Latest >> Five Questions Facing the SEC in Week Four