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Friday, October 23, 2009

Auburn-LSU breakdown

On the way to New Orleans for the night. Should be a wholesome good time.

But don't think I'd leave the blog void of content. Here's a sneak peek at a breakdown of tomorrow's Auburn-LSU game.

Auburn (5-2, 2-2 SEC) at No. 9 LSU (5-1, 3-1 SEC)
  • Where: Baton Rouge, La.
  • When: 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2
  • Last meeting: LSU 26, Auburn 21, Sept. 20, 2008, in Auburn, Ala.
Auburn: The Tigers’ once high-flying offense has hit the wall the last two games, averaging 366 yards and 18.5 points in losses to Arkansas and Kentucky. Ben Tate is still second in the SEC in rushing (122.3 ypg), but quarterback Chris Todd has struggled lately, with 213 passing yards, one pick and no touchdowns the last two weeks.

LSU: Something is amiss with LSU’s offense, which ranks 89th nationally in rushing (123.8 ypg), 105th in passing (171.2 ypg) and 112th in total offense (295.0 ypg). Preseason All-SEC running back Charles Scott has only 327 rushing yards and two touchdowns after finishing with 1,174 and 18 touchdowns last season.

EDGE: Auburn
Auburn: Kentucky made mincemeat of Auburn’s rush defense in the fourth quarter last week, running for 142 yards in the fourth quarter alone. The Tigers rank 11th in the SEC in rush defense (181.4 ypg), the most yards they’ve allowed on the ground since 1979, when they allowed 191.5 yards per game.

LSU: While the offense has struggled, LSU’s defense has returned to form, ranking 14th nationally in points per game (14.5). It has two major red flags, however: LSU is last in the SEC with only five sacks in six games, half as many as the 11th-place team in the conference. The Tigers are also last in third downs, allowing opponents to convert 41.8 percent of the time.

Special teams:
Auburn: If not for place-kicker Wes Byrum, who is 11-for-12 on field goals, this group would have major problems. Punter Clinton Durst’s average has dropped below 40 yards (39.8) after averaging only 35.7 yards per punt against Kentucky last week. He’s seventh in the SEC.

LSU: Trindon Holliday has world-class speed as a returner, but it was Chad Jones who broke free for a 93-yard punt return that proved crucial in a win against Mississippi State. LSU is tops in the conference in kickoff coverage and third in net punting.

Prediction: This game always comes down to the wire. Although LSU's offense has struggled, Auburn's defense has made a lot of offenses look good. I see a big game for Scott, who is too talented and physical to be struggling like this. I think Auburn does well offensively for facing a big-time defense like LSU's, but I don't see it pulling out the win. LSU 26, Auburn 20.


Simmons B. Buntin said...

Something tells me Auburn pulls off the upset.

(That something could be blind hope, but still, for the record....)

easyedwin said...

Auburn - 33
LSU - 27