Chizik Impressed By LSU's Talent

Auburn wrapped up its preparations for its third road trip of the 2009 football season.

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn football team tuned up for its third road trip of the season with a non-contact practice in shorts on Thursday preparing for Saturday night's game vs. ninth-ranked LSU.

Working against the scout teams, Coach Gene Chizik's Tigers polished the offensive and defensive game plans and worked on the kicking game, which has been a strength for LSU this season.

The Tigers, 5-2 overall and 2-2 in the SEC, will fly to Baton Rouge after a walk-through on the Auburn campus on Friday as they try to end a two-game losing streak in the series to an LSU team that has had an extra week to prepare for Saturday's 6:30 p.m. kickoff. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

LSU leads the series 23-19-1 and has a 13-5-1 edge over Auburn in games played at Tiger Stadium. Auburn's last victory in Baton Rouge was a 41-7 decision in 1999.

LSU is the first Top 25 team the Tigers have faced this year. Four of the five remaining games are against teams ranked in this week's polls.

Auburn is 6-7 all-time vs. teams ranked No. 9 in the AP?poll. The Tigers have won nine of their last 14 matchups vs. opponents ranked in the Top 10.

LSU opened the season with five straight victories and is 3-1 in the conference after losing for the first time on Oct. 10, dropping a 13-3 defensive struggle against Florida.

Mississippi State is the only common opponent. Auburn defeated the Bulldogs 49-24 on Sept. 12th and LSU defeated MSU 30-26 on Sept. 26th.

Chizik said he has seen no signs that he is team down after losing its last two games 44-21 at Arkansas and 21-14 last week at home to Kentucky after winning five in a row to open the season.

"Our kids have been great," Chizik said. "They have had a great week of practice. They have been really, really good when it comes to re-focusing back in. We have got a lot of football left this year.

"Our guys are focused and locked in," Chizik added. "We will move ahead after this week no matter what happens."

Chizik said an emphasis in practice this week has been eliminating penalties and mistakes and said it is important his team gets off to a good start in Baton Rouge against LSU.

"They are very, very talented," he said of the Bayou Bengals. "I have seen these teams over the years and they always look the same. They are big, they are athletic, they are fast.

"You start with their defensive side of the ball and they are just playing great defense right now," the Auburn coach said. "I think that is evident when they play the Floridas and the Georgias of the world and there are not a whole lot of points being scored.

LSU features speedster Trindon Holliday.

"Offensively, yeah they have had their struggles, but when you watch them on film you are concerned. They have got great speed. They have a very, very physical tailback (Charles Scott) and then a changeup with (Trindon) Holliday in there. They have got great, great athletes at wide receiver, some big 6-3, 6-4 guys and then the quarterback(Jordan) Jefferson is a handful."

Holliday, who returns kickoffs and punts, is the fastest player in college football.

"They are athletically talented everywhere," Chizik said. "Their special teams units are unbelievable because they have Holliday back there as a return guy. That is a threat at anytime. We are just going to have to be really good on our game plan and try to keep it away from him as much as possible. We have got our hands full."

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