"Big Challenge" Ahead For Malzahn's Tigers

Auburn (3-0) faces off against LSU this Saturday night in the first road game of the Gus Malzahn era.

Auburn, Ala.--The 3-0 Auburn Tigers hit the road for the first time this season with a night game on the Bayou standing between them and win number four. Facing off against LSU in Tiger Stadium is always a difficult task and this year it will be no different for Coach Gus Malzahn's football team.

Perhaps the only difference is the LSU team that will be waiting on Auburn. While Les Miles' team can still run the football, it's the passing attack that has improved by leaps and bounds under offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Led by quarterback Zach Mettenberger, LSU is a team that Malzahn said gets your attention when you what their offense.

"They've got two very good receivers," Malzahn said of Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. "Their quarterback has done a good job. He's protected the football. I believe he hasn't thrown an interception yet and quite a few touchdowns. Any time you couple that with a good running game, which they do have a very good running game, that's a challenge."

Despite losing a load of talent off last year's team, LSU's defense looks to be another top group with still plenty of playmakers available for coordinator John Chavis. Malzahn said that once again LSU's speed is something opponents have to contend with as an offense and that jumps out when you watch them on video.

"I tell you what, they're few and far between," Malzahn said of potential weaknesses on LSU's defense. "They've got good players at every position. They tackle well, they're very aggressive. Coach Chavis is one of the best in the business, and that's the way he coaches. And his guys can run. They're probably one of the faster defenses in the country and that's something you have to deal with."

Auburn will roll into Saturday night's game a confident team following a big win over Mississippi State last week. Forced to put together a game-winning drive that spanned the length of the field, Malzahn said it's definitely a confidence boost for his team as it prepares to face the best team it has seen so far this season.

"I think it is a good gauge, just like last week playing an SEC team at home," Malzahn said. "I told our guys, 'We're going to find out where we're at after this game, how we respond to different things.' I think this is no different. First road test against a Top 10 team in the country to see where we're at. It'll be good to go there and judge and look back and see where we're at.

"When you win, obviously that helps you, but this is a different challenge," he added. "We're playing a Top 10 team on the road. We've had a good rivalry with LSU. They're a very good team. They're going to make you earn it. And they've got big-play ability on the offense. It'll be a big challenge.

Kickoff for Saturday game against LSU is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. CDT and will be televised by ESPN.

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