Pregame Breakdown: LSU at Auburn

ITAT takes a look at the Auburn-LSU matchup this weekend.

When LSU has the ball: All eyes will be on LSU's quarterback tandem of sophomore Andrew Hatch and redshirt freshman Jarrett Lee in their first career road action. This season both have been solid for the Tigers but they'll face a different animal against Auburn's defensive unit than they saw against Appy State and North Texas. If Auburn can slow down the running game of Charles Scott and Keiland Williams and make the quarterback duo throw to win then the streak of home team wins may just continue.

A view of the recreational vehicles from the Goodyear Blimp on South Donahue Drive is shown on Friday before the LSU at Auburn game.

When Auburn has the ball: Again quarterbacks will be the issue as starter Chris Todd and backup Kodi Burns may both see action against an LSU defense that has dominated its first two lesser opponents. Meanwhile Auburn's offense struggled to score just three points last week against Mississippi State. Allowing just 48 yards rushing per game this season, look for LSU to stack the line and force Auburn to make plays in the passing game down the field.

Something you may not know about LSU: Even though they have demolished inferior opponents in their first two games, LSU has caused just one turnover this season. That could be a huge point in this game as Auburn has struggled to hold onto the ball with eight turnovers in three games. The team that breaks the trend wins the game.

Something you may not know about Auburn: Playing a powerful running team like LSU, Auburn's red zone defense could play a big part in deciding the game Saturday night. This season Auburn has allowed just two touchdowns in five red zone trips by the opposition and no field goals. That is second in the league behind Kentucky. Meanwhile LSU's red zone offense has scored on seven of eight trips with four of those for touchdowns and three coming on the ground. Something has to give as LSU has not rushed for a score against Auburn since 2003.

LSU Player to Watch: It has to be running back Charles Scott. Running behind a massive offensive line, Scott has carried the ball just 23 times but has gained 262 yards and scored four touchdowns. He's averaging a whopping 11.4 yards per carry through two games. If Auburn is going to win the game Murphy has to be slowed down to a crawl.

Auburn Player to Watch: It would be too easy to say Todd or Burns at quarterback, my player to watch is tight end Tommy Trott. This season Trott has just three catches for 44 yards, all of which came in a win over Southern Miss. It's no coincidence that the best offensive game of the season by Auburn came against the Golden Eagles. This offense thrives on getting the ball in the middle of the field and that means in Trott's hands.

Analysis: Nobody expects an offensive shootout Saturday night and I'm not one to buck that trend. One trend that Auburn hopes desperately to hold onto is success against Top 10 foes. Auburn has won nine of its last 12 games against Top 10 teams with two of the losses coming to LSU (20-17 in OT in 2005, 30-24 in 2007) on the road. Auburn has won six straight games over Top 10 teams at home. It may not be pretty but I expect that trend to continue and Auburn to squeak out a victory.


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