LSU 26-21: Auburn Game Notes

News, notes and quotes from the LSU at Auburn football game are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--Junior defensive end Gabe McKenzie made one of the big most impressive plays of the season for the Auburn Tigers as he returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown on Saturday night.

That helped spark his team to a 14-3 halftime lead, but LSU rallied for a 26-21 giving the visitors a huge jump-start on their run to defend their SEC Championship.

"It felt great to make the play, but this loss really hurts," McKenzie said. "We came out to play and did so many good things so this one really hurts because we were so close."

McKenzie gave LSU credit for playing a good game. "They did a better job of protecting their quarterback as the game went along and then he come more confidence."

In other news and notes:

*LSU improved its lead in the all-time series to 23-9-1.

*Both teams struggled on third down conversions. Each made 4-14.

*Rod Smith moved into Auburn's Top 10 for receptions with 97 for his career and receiving yards with 1,425 after making five catches for 73 yards.

*Mike McNeil, Tray Blackmon and Zach Etheridge led Auburn in tackles. McNeil had seven solos and one assists. Blackmon had three solos and five assists. Zach Etheridge had three solo tackles and five assists.

*Tim Hawthorne went into the game with four career catches for 47 yards. He almost doubled his yardage total with 87 vs. LSU.

GameDay crew member Lee Corso (right) picks Auburn at the show's set on Saturday outside of Jordan-Hare Stadium. The show drew a big crowd to the lawn of the Allison Physics Building.

*Fans began arriving in Auburn on Wednesday and by Friday evening the town was packed with people for the big SEC showdown. On Saturday, two popular BBQ restaurants, Byron's and Mike and Ed's, ran out of food hours before kickoff. "It is the craziest thing I have ever seen," said Byron Gulledge whose name is on the restaurant on Opelika Road. "We are out of food by 1 p.m."

*Tickets were tough to find on campus on Saturday. Hours before the game fans were cruising campus with their fingers in the air asking for tickets, but there appeared to be few sellers.

*With several major construction projects on campus limiting the amount of parking near the stadium, fans were parked in neighborhoods east of campus that normally aren't visited by fans headed to Jordan-Hare.

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