Dede: AU vs. LSU Worth Getting Excited

Auburn linebacker Karibi Dede is expected to be a key player for his team in the SEC West test vs. LSU.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn's leading tackler after two games, senior linebacker Karibi Dede, says Saturday's game vs. LSU is the kind of matchup that makes college football so much fun to play.

The winner of Saturday's showdown at Jordan-Hare Stadium will be the heavy favorite to win the SEC West title this season.

"It is always exciting, a lot of fun and a lot of memories that come out of these big-time SEC matches," Dede says. "Coach Tub (Tommy Tuberville) says it is a game we will remember forever and I think that is how it will be."

Both Auburn and LSU come into the game with 2-0 records. LSU has twin 45-3 victories over Louisiana-LaFayette and Arizona while Auburn opened the season with a 40-14 victory over Washington State and then began SEC play with a 34-0 road win at Mississippi State.

LSU is expected to be a much tougher challenge than either of the first two opponents for Auburn. Dede says there are multiple reasons why LSU will be tough to beat, but notes that one player stands out.

"I think for starters it comes down to their quarterback," he says of junior JaMarcus Russell. "His arm has been impressive since day one when he stepped on the field. He is a live wire, a big-play guy. He takes chances, but he makes big plays. I have seen him come back in the fourth quarter and make last second plays. I have seen him do pretty much of everything. Also, all-around as a ball club I don't see any glaring weaknesses."

Karibi Dede is shown after recovering a fumble vs. Mississippi State.

Dede points out that he sees signs that Auburn's defense is improving as the Tigers head into game three. "I think we are coming along," he says. "Coach Willis (linebacker coach James Willis) talked to us and told that we have a chance to be a really good defense. It all comes down to preparing each week, coming out and cleaning up the mistakes from the past week and taking steps forward each day."

One of the challenges for Dede and the rest of the Auburn defense is containing LSU's big running backs. "I have played Alley Broussard before and (Justin) Vincent," he says. "Number 73 (Will Arnold) I have played before. Broussard is a great talented back. He is a big guy who can really carry the load. Vincent is quicker. I think he will get to the perimeter a little more. There is a new guy I haven't seen before, number 18 (Jacob Hester), I think we will see him in more of their bigger personnel packages."

Dede says he thinks the Auburn linebackers can get the job done on Saturday despite being smaller than the LSU's big backs. "If you look at Georgia and LSU, those two teams have some of the strongest backfields in our conference as far as depth goes," Dede adds. "I think it will be a real challenge. I don't think size-wise, us being smaller, will really make a difference. It will be just about us fitting gaps."

For the past six seasons, the home team has won Auburn vs. LSU contest. The last two games have been very close. Dede says he is expecting another exciting game on Saturday. A national television audience will be tuned in on CBS and a large contingent of media will be attending the game from around the country.

"To me it is so much fun to play in the big-game atmosphere," he says. "I think any college player in the SEC lives for these kind of games where everybody in the nation is going to be watching."

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