Auburn Has No Answers Vs. No. 1 LSU

Auburn was a big underdog on the road at LSU and made too mistakes to hang with the home team.

Baton Rouge, La.--Gene Chizik said his team has little margin for error when playing a football game on the road this season. On Saturday at Tiger Stadium his Tigers hung with the home team for much of the first half. Then Chizik's Tigers starting making errors and the result was a big margin.

When the final whistle blew LSU was a 45-10 winner, improving its record to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the SEC while Auburn fell to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the conference.

"We are not good enough for negative things to happen to us and consistently overcome it," Chizik said.

Seven penalties, many coming at inopportune times, and a pair of turnovers were problems for Chizik's team. So was an offense that struggled the run the football or protect quarterback Clint Moseley, who was sacked a half dozen times in his first college start.

"The reality of it was we got beat in about every phase of the game you can get beat," Chizik said. "We did all the classic things on the road you can't do to win a game.

"We turned the ball over in the kicking game," he said. "We turned the ball over throwing an interception for a touchdown.

"We had the game about where we wanted it with about five minutes to go in the second quarter," he said, noting the home team was leading just 7-3. "We had them in third and 14 and we let that one get away from us. We had some penalties at critical times that kept drives alive and turned into points for the other team.

"Offensively, when you give up six sacks and can't run the football, you have got a hard time winning," Chizik added.

Auburn netted just 248 total yards while LSU gained 393. Auburn lost 56 yards due to the sacks as its offensive front was outplayed by LSU's strong defensive front by a wide margin.

Moseley completed 12-20 passes for 145 yards with one pick six on his stat line. He was out-dueled by LSU's quarterback tandem of Jarrett Lee, who threw two touchdown passes and Jordan Jefferson, who threw one TD for a score.

Clint Moseley is pressured as he looks to pass vs. LSU.

LSU's offense, which has been extremely stingy in avoiding turnovers with just three coming into the contest, did not lose a fumble or throw an interception vs. Auburn.

The suspensions of star tailback Spencer Ware and star cornerback Tyran Mathieu were no problem for LSU to overcome. Mathieu's replacement, Ron Brooks, scored the only defensive touchdown of the game.

Coach Les Miles said his team was ready to play Auburn after going to AU's home field with a 7-0 record and coming home with its first loss last year. "We needed to make amends," he said. "We did that."

The LSU coach said he liked the performance of his team on offense, defense and in the kicking game.

Auburn's Chizik said it was difficult to evaluate Moseley's first start because of the lack of protection from his offensive line, something the head coach said will be studied this week to see what his team can do to solve the problem.

"There are obviously plays that I wish I could have back," Moseley said. "All I can think about is the negative plays I made. I am going to do my best to get that corrected."

Defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker said he was pleased that his team kept battling when things went wrong in the final minutes of the first half, turning a 7-3 LSU advantage into a 21-3 halftime margin.

"There were some big plays that happened in which we didn't execute well," the sophomore lineman said. "The only thing we can do is kept fighting."

Whitaker said the Tigers will remember what happen, let it "soak in," and be determined to prevent a repeat. He predicted the Tigers will be able to overcome their worst performance of the season and play well next week.

"I think the penalties on third down backfired against us," Whitaker said. "Against a team like LSU you can't do that and expect to win."

LSU got the football to start the contest and didn't waste any time by driving 76 yards on eight plays. Kenny Hilliard, a 5-11, 240-pound running back, bulled in from eight yards out for the touchdown.

Auburn scored with 1:26 left in the third quarter on its third possession of the game by moving 41 yards on nine plays. The Tigers drove to a first and goal at the LSU nine, but a pair of sacks forced a 42-yard field goal by Cody Parkey to put the visitors on the scoreboard.

Auburn's offense struggled to consistently move the ball and AU began losing the field position battle as Steven Clark struggled with his punting while LSU's Brad Wing did a good job. Clark averaged just 31.8 yards on his four first half punts while Wing had three punts for a 49.7 average with two inside the Auburn 20.

Rueben Randle scored LSU's second touchdown with five minutes left in the half on perfectly thrown 46-yard pass from backup QB Jefferson. Randle beat Auburn freshman cornerback Robenson Therezie deep down the sideline with one-on-one coverage. The Bayou Bengals moved 60 yards on three plays for the score.

It was Randle again for the third touchdown. The 6-4, 208 junior scored on a very similar play, however, the passer was Jarret Lee and the cornerback beaten deep was Chris Davis. Safety Neiko Thorpe tried to make a play on the ball, but was too late and LSU led 21-3 with just 40 seconds left before the halftime break.

After two quarters Auburn's offense had produced just 113 yards on 30 plays compared to 213 for the Bayou Bengals who held the football for 31 plays. Auburn rushed for just 31 yards on 18 plays in the first two quarters. Moseley was solid in his first half, hitting 7-11 passing for 82 yards as the Auburn offense played without a turnover.

The visiting Tigers needed to make something positive happen early in the third quarter, but just the opposite happened. Auburn got the football first and moved it to midfield, but stalled and punted the football to LSU, which took over at its 26 after another short kick by Clark.

It took the home team just six plays to score again on a 10-yard pass to Russell Shepherd with 9:51 remaining in the third quarter.

Freshman Tre Mason then fumbled the following kickoff, giving LSU possession at the AU 22. From there the Bayou Bengals scored on four running plays with Hilliard barreling in at right guard from a yard out to make the score 35-7.

The ugliness continued for the visitors from Auburn. Two plays after the kickoff Moseley tried to hit DeAngelo Benton on a pass toward the sideline, but instead he hit Brooks in the stomach and the cornerback strolled into the end zone untouched for a score with 7:27 left in the third quarter.

LSU stretched its lead to 45-3 with 13:56 left in the fourth quarter on a 36-yard field goal by Drew Alleman.

Auburn finally got a touchdown with 2:22 remaining as Onterio McCalebb scored on a sweep of right end. That capped a drive of 10 plays that covered 86 yards.

McCalebb ran the ball three times for 32 yards and caught three passes for 38 to lead the Auburn offense. Michael Dyer ran the ball 12 times for 60 yards.

Michael Ford gained 82 yards on 12 carries for LSU while Randle caught five passes for 106 yards.

Neiko Thorpe all tacklers with two solo stops and 12 assists for Auburn. Daren Bates had one solo tackle and eight assists and Eltoro Freeman made two solos with six assists.

The Tigers will return to action with a 6 p.m. home game next Saturday vs. Ole Miss.

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