Thompson Ready For LSU's Big Boys

Auburn junior nose tackle discusses LSU's offensive line and the Western Division showdown on Saturday.

Auburn, Ala.--Two years ago when LSU came to Jordan-Hare Stadium for the early season thriller, the Auburn football team was ranked 14th and didn't know its potential.

Auburn edged LSU 10-9 in a game that sparked the 13-0 run to a final ranking of No. 2 in the nation.

"That was an awesome game," junior noseguard Josh Thompson reflects. "That was the turning point of the season. When you've got a game like that you build confidence that you can hang in there with the best of the best. Hopefully that will happen this year with us. We'll see how it goes. Whoever wins this game is pretty well going to have the confidence to do well the rest of the year."

However, a season ago it was LSU that won the battle of the Tigers as the home team has won the last six contests. It was Auburn's only loss against an SEC team in its last 19 games against league competition. Thompson says that he and his teammates have been waiting for their payback, but it hasn't caused them to lose focus on other games.

"We've definitely been thinking about it, but we take one game at a time and we don't look ahead," he notes. "We view them as ‘team X' and we're playing ourselves out there. Not LSU or whoever. That's how we view it and we're looking forward to going out there and having a good game."

The Bengal Tigers lost three talented blockers up front in Andrew Whitworth, Nate Livings and Rudy Niswanger off last year's ball club, but they still have a good deal of size up front. Center Brett Helms, who Thompson will be lined up against, is the smallest at 6-2, 283 and fairly similar to Auburn center Joe Cope in size. The other four starters--guards Will Arnold and Brian Johnson and tackles Ciron Black and Peter Dyakowski--average 6-4 1/2, 313 pounds.

Thompson makes a play vs. Washington State.

"They're pretty big up front," Thompson notes. "I think the center is probably the smallest guy on the line. The guards are real big and the tackles are real big. The center doesn't have a whole lot of size, but he makes up for it with his quickness. They're awful good up front.

"They're just big up front and they've got good linemen," he adds. "The quarterbacks and running backs are real good No. 18 (running back Jacob Hester) is a really good player. They're just a real good offensive team."

Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CDT on Saturday and will be televised on CBS.

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