Auburn, much like LSU has already made a couple changes at quarterback this season although Sean White remains the starter this week even with John Franklin getting some time towards the end, sparking a touchdown drive in the loss to Texas A&M. Even with the quarterback inconsistencies, Gus Malzahn said this week that it's more about coaching decisions and moves at this point. Auburn is talented enough to give LSU all the Tigers could want. Here's a few players to keep an eye on in the ball game.
Soph. QB Sean White
The Florida native began playing at quarterback last year after the first three games. White, more of a pocket passer compared to Franklin and third-string quarterback Jeremy Johnson, played sporadically over the final 10 games for Auburn. Auburn offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Rhett Lashlee said this week that there are probably a few throws he'd like to have back. White has improved his passer efficiency from a year ago from 123 to 134 (roughly) and that's big news for Auburn, who has been searching for a quarterback since Nick Marshall departed. White still hasn't made the plays necessary to
Jr. DE Carl Lawson
LSU did an excellent job against Mississippi State last week and highly-regarded defensive end A.J. Jefferson, one of the best defensive ends in the SEC. Les Miles didn't give that same praise to Lawson this week as he wasn't asked, but the former four-star defensive end and No. 7 overall defensive end in the country according to Scout has battled injuries during his time at Auburn. Lawson though has a huge impact on Auburn. With Lawson, Auburn has tallied 17 sacks in 9.5 games and just seven in 6.5 games without Lawson. Opponents' average yards per game drops roughly 60 yards and almost 12 points per game when Lawson plays for Auburn. Needless to say, Lawson can get after the quarterback and disrupt opponents' plays. After facing Jefferson a week ago, LSU will have to employ a similar gameplan executed by Danny Etling to deal with the pass rush and playmaking ability of Lawson.
Sr. DT Montravius Adams
Adams is one of the most disruptive plays on this Auburn team and anchors the interior of a very good defensive line for Auburn at 6-4, 309. Adams has two quarterback hurries against the Tigers and nine total tackles against the Tigers in his career. This year, Adams will figure to be even more important as LSU has to block a healthy Lawson and with the offensive line recovering from injuries, the interior stepping up to block Adams will be even more important this weekend.
Jr. LB Tre Williams
The junior is listed as the OR starter at middle linebacker, but make no mistake, Williams is the starter and will have to be accounted for this weekend against LSU. Like Kendell Beckwith, Williams is one of the leaders for Auburn on the defensive side of the ball and can be all over the field when he wants to. Williams has the ability to run sideline-to-sideline. If Auburn is aggressive and blitzes Williams, the LSU offensive line will have to account for him. I expect Auburn to come out aggressive and blitz an LSU offensive line that isn't 100 percent.
Auburn's Offensive Line
There's been a lot of blame placed on quarterbacks and coaches at Auburn, but another group that deserves some of the blame is the offensive line. Now, Auburn leads the SEC with over 261 yards rushing on the ground and a big reason why is Kamryn Pettway has three rushes of 20 yards or more and averages more than 10 yards a carry on first downs. LSU has to step up defensively to limit Auburn's production and force passing situations. Auburn's offensive line has to deal with a defense that has incredible team speed, Malzahn noted this week. That's the biggest area of concern for Auburn is how well the line can handle LSU's speed on defense. If the line can't it could be a long night for Auburn.