Already TSD has taken a detailed look at the Auburn offense, spearheaded by coordinator Rhett Lashlee and offensive-minded head coach Gus Malzahn.
Today we're turning the microscope on the War Eagle defense that LSU will face inside Tiger Stadium. What follows is a projected starting lineup and the most relevant defensive notes on a group led by first-year coordinator Will Muschamp, a familiar face in Baton Rouge.
AUBURN STARTING DEFENSE
DE: Davonte Lambert (Sr., 6-2, 282)
DT: Dontavius Russell (R-Fr., 6-3, 295)
DT: Montravius Adams (Jr., 6-4, 296)
DE: Carl Lawson (So., 6-2, 257)
LB: Cassanova McKinzy (Sr., 6-3, 253)
LB: Kris Frost (Sr., 6-2, 240)
LB: Justin Garrett (Sr., 6-1, 228)
CB: Jonathan Jones (Sr., 5-10, 181)
S: Johnathan Ford (Jr., 6-0, 203)
S: Tray Matthews (So., 6-1, 213)
CB: Blake Countess (Sr., 5-10, 185)
Notable Backups: NICKEL Tim Irvin (Fr., 5-9, 194), LB Tre' Williams (So., 6-2, 238), S Nick Ruffin (So., 6-0, 191), DE Raashed Kennion (So., 6-6, 235)
Auburn's defense is fairly multiple, shifting often from four-man to three-man fronts and never afraid to go into a nickel look, swapping in freshman playmaker Tim Irvin.
The Plainsmen, still very much experiencing growing pains and dealing with multiple injuries, have been rough on that side of the ball, however, two games into the Will Muschamp Era, Part Deux.
They're conceding more yards this season (421.5 ypg) than their offense is posting (364.0 ypg) and Auburn has also given up 55 first downs, an amazing 27.5 per ballgame, compared to only 44 first downs gained.
It's been ugliest on the ground, too, where Muschamp's men have consistently been gashed by the power read-option, yielding an average of 199.5 rushing yards per game ... to 0-3 Louisville and Jacksonville State. That lends plenty of credence to the notion that LSU's Brandon Harris and Leonard Fournette will work magic in the mesh-oriented read-option themselves on Saturday in Death Valley.
As for the injury front, star Buck defensive end Carl Lawson's status is still up in the air as he deals with a hip injury suffered in the season-opening win over Louisville. Should he be ruled out of the contest, Auburn will likely backfill with sophomore Raashed Kennion, who has compiled a tackle for loss and three quarterback hurries through two games.
War Eagle will definitely be without veteran safety Josh Holsey, who tore his ACL (for the second time in his collegiate career) in the comeback overtime win over Jacksonville State. No Holsey will mean even more Tray Matthews in the final line of defense for Auburn.
The chess match between Les Miles slash Cam Cameron and Muschamp should be an interesting one.
While many expect LSU will take advantage of Auburn's ineffectiveness stopping the read-option, the home-standing Tigers could also enjoy advantages in the receiver-cornerback collisions via deep threats Travin Dural and Malachi Dupre.
Time will tell if Miles & Co. are content grinding this game out on the ground, as they were at Mississippi State, but this should theoretically be a matchup (LSU's offense versus Auburn's defense) where the Bayou Bengals can pick their poison as far as how they choose to attack.