Jeff: Five things to look for when LSU hosts Auburn
Jeff Palermo Reporting
The sixth ranked LSU Tigers renew their rivalry with Auburn on Saturday night. It's the 48th meeting between the two teams, with LSU leading the series 26-20-1. The Tigers have won six straight over Auburn in Tiger Stadium. But Auburn is the last team to beat LSU in the month of September. That was a 7-3 win for the War Eagles in 2006.
I expect more than 10 points will be scored in this game, and here are five things to look for.
1. LSU's miscues
If LSU loses, it's because they beat themselves. The Tigers have been penalized 23 times, 2nd most in the SEC. Coach Les Miles said they want to cut down on the flags, especially pre-snap penalties. LSU committed nine penalties in last year's game against Auburn, and only won by two points against an inferior team.
2. Slowing down Auburn's up tempo offense
First-year coach Gus Malzahn has brought his up tempo offense back to the Plains. Malzahn was the offensive coordinator when Auburn won its national championship in 2010. Malzahn doesn't have Cam Newton at quarterback, but his QB this year, Nick Marshall, threw for 339 yards against Mississippi State. The LSU coaching staff is hoping for a loud crowd on Saturday night to disrupt Auburn's communication.
3. Is the LSU running game truly back?
LSU rushed for over 300 yards last week as Jeremy Hill returned to the starting line-up. The Tigers should have more success on the ground this Saturday as Auburn gave up 200 rushing yards to Mississippi State last week. It will be interesting to see if Terrance Magee gets some carries in the 1st half, after rushing for over 100 yards last week.
4. Will Auburn's Chris Davis play?
LSU's Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry is the best receiver tandem in the SEC and Auburn's top defensive back might not play. Chris Davis is questionable with a foot injury. He's Auburn's top defensive back and had six tackles against LSU last season.
5. Can LSU's defense for more turnovers?
In three games, LSU has forced three turnovers. The lack of turnovers could be a by product of a young team that's thinking too much, instead of reacting. Maybe knowing that Tyrann Mathieu will be watching from New Orleans, will inspire the defense to force some turnovers.