If you ask LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron to describe his core philosophy, I'd be willing to bet he'd come with something like: "establish the line of scrimmage by using the vertical passing game as a lynchpin."
He'd probably say that privately, though, as most believe it's in his DNA to use a dynamic, power-rushing attack, equipped with four or five core plays that he runs out of a grip of different formations, to open up said vertical approach.
But Cameron is more Norv Turner (The San Diego Chargers version) than he is, say, Greg Roman (former San Francisco and Buffalo OC), as he'd much rather push the ball down the field when given the leeway.
And being as though head coach Les Miles is a tried-and-true-old-school offensive lineman, that leeway is about as open as Exit. 102 in Atlanta rush-hour traffic! So for everyone who's wanted the Tigers to run a wide-open offense, this weekend's game against Auburn University may be just what the doctor ordered.
Despite its undoubted talent, Auburn still has glaring holes in its secondary -- especially as it pertains to defending the vert game in its man-up portion of the playbook.
Here we see Clemson's Mike Williams exposing a very talented Carlton Davis in man coverage; going into this season I expected LSU's Malachi Dupre to take the necessary steps to play himself into a first-round draft pick, and this could be his breakout game.
Dupre is usually money in the vert game, but he's excelled in the mid-range game with his ability to transition and box out. Auburn has shown a propensity to struggle with deep and intermediate routes, which plays right into the hand of LSU quarterback Danny Etling.
Case in point.
The main event (or maybe co-main?) of the evening will certainly be Auburn's uber-deep defensive front, mainly the rotation of four down linemen, against one of the more talented offensive lines in the country.
Auburn is based out of an even front and has shown the ability to control the line of scrimmage via organic pressure. We know that the Miles-Cameron outfit loves gap schemes and Power concepts -- so something has to give.
While attempting to bend the edge will certainly be in play, punching Auburn right in the mouth will remain the primary point-of-emphasis, despite the upgrade in talent since the two squads last met.
This should be a game that utilizes "Cheetah personnel," as having a trio of receiving options, not counting the "Y," will put immense pressure on the weakest part of Auburn's D: the secondary.
The deciding factor may, very well, come when Auburn has the ball, as it has struggled to both establish an identity and execute, accordingly.
If LSU is able to stifle Auburn's rushing attack, the fat lady may as well warm up those pipes as LSU's pass-rush will make it a long day for any aerial artistry to take place.
Is it Saturday, yet?