"We described the game as a fist fight," Auburn offensive coordinator Al Borges says. "Figuratively a fist fight. You saw the massive collisions but you didn't see all of the punching inside in the trenches. The guys were playing so hard and just collisions left and right. Short range collisions, massive collisions in the open field. It was just one of those games where it was a battle of wills. The team with the more will in the end normally wins."
Auburn won figuratively by six yards and on the scoreboard by just four points.
In the last two games in the series at Jordan-Hare Stadium Auburn has scored a total of 17 points but won both ball games.
"LSU's been tough," Borges says. "In my three years they've been the toughest team on us offensively. They've done the best job. We've won two of the three but it hasn't been because of great offense.
"I want to give (LSU defensive coordinator) Bo Pelini a lot of credit," he adds. "He did a great job of scheming us and he gets his kids to play well and play hard. You've got to give them a lot of credit to. It's not just you not playing good, it's them playing well also."
LSU lost three studs off its defensive line from last year, but on Saturday the defensive line was a strength of the LSU team led by tackle Glenn Dorsey. He was credited with three solos, five assists, three tackles for a loss and 1.5 quarterback sacks.
"They may have lost guys but they play hard and they still have a lot of talent," Borges notes. "They've done a great job of recruiting. They're still really good. They do a great job of coming off blocks and we had a couple of assignment errors that hurt us. That was pretty much it. We've got to do a better job of finishing blocks. They had some good defenses to the plays I called."
The running was tough for Kenny Irons on Saturday but Auburn's lone score was enough for a victory.
The Auburn offense had no success to speak of early in the game as it didn't get a first down until the second quarter. For the game Auburn had just 72 yards rushing, but that was 30 more than LSU totaled. However, Auburn quarterback Brandon Cox threw for only 110 yards compared to 267 from JaMarcus Russell.
The 182 yards offense wasn't much, but it was a definite improvement from the first quarter when the Auburn Tigers managed just seven yards.
"We started trying to use more of what we call gap schemes," Borges notes. "Our zone schemes in the first half weren't working real good so we tried an alternative. But it's not like we were world-beaters then either. We inked it out. I feel a lot like I did two years ago. I'm so excited to win the game, but we we've got ways to go offensively."
The only score of the game for Auburn was its opening drive of the second half. It was a 12-play 75-yard possession that ate up 6:43 on the clock. Cox capped it off with a quarterback sneak to give Auburn its only score.
The previous drive should have resulted in points but ended on a missed field goal. The offense started at its own 30-yard line before stalling at the LSU nine. John Vaughn's field goal clanked off the left upright.
"Offense is about getting in sync. You've got to get in sync and we never did get into sync until late in the second quarter and early in the third."
Then the offense had three consecutive punts to close the game, but it was enough for victory as Auburn turned it over just one time and the defense clinged on for the victory.