Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Rapid Reaction: LSU at Auburn

No. 18 LSU dropped to 2-2 on Saturday with an 18-13 loss at Auburn Saturday night.

How it Happened

After a poor offensive showing for the game, LSU appeared to win on Danny Etling's 15-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Clark as time expired. But after review, LSU did not get its final snap off before the clock expired. 

After four straight three-and-outs between both teams, Auburn opened scoring with a 51-yard field goal from Daniel Carson. It was the first of his three first-half makes that gave Auburn a 9-7 halftime lead. LSU's lone touchdown came on a 3-yard shovel pass from Danny Etling to Foster Moreau. Derrius Guice's 53-yard run set up the score. Auburn out-gained LSU 388-338, but LSU's defense didn't allow a touchdown in six red zone possessions.

Auburn missed two chances to score a touchdown on its opening drive of the second half - an overthrow to an open Tony Stevens and a Stevens drop on the goal line. LSU couldn't convert in the red zone twice in the third quarter, the second chance coming after Arden Key's strip-sack of Sean White. After Daniel Carlson's fifth field goal gave Auburn a 15-13 lead early in the fourth quarter, LSU moved inside Auburn's 35-yard line, but turned the ball over after a fumbled exchange between Etling and Fournette. Carlson's sixth make of the game gave Auburn its 18-13 lead.

What it Means

LSU suffers its first SEC loss against a team that's likely bound for a bottom-half conference finish. LSU's offense is less mistake-prone with Danny Etling at quarterback, but it still can't make the explosive plays in the passing game, especially not with Leonard Fournette getting only 7 first-half carries and 16 overall. He had 2 carries for 8 yards in the fourth quarter. LSU didn't ask Etling to make many complicated throws or take too many shots down the field, although he barely overthrew D.J. Chark down the sidelines. He would have likely scored if he caught the pass. Etling averaged only 2.56 yards per pass in the first half and 4.38 for the game.

Player of the Game: Arden Key

In his quest for 20 sacks, Arden Key picked up a half-sack on two separate plays in the first half and forced a fumble on a sack in the third quarter. He leads the SEC with 7 sacks. On one of his half-sacks, he came free when Auburn rolled out to the other side of the field, but he closed in fast as White held onto the ball too long. He displayed his usual impressive speed off the edge. With 7 sacks through 4 games, he's on pace to get 20.

Side Note

With Toby Weathersby out with an injury, Ethan Pocic saw time at left tackle again and Andy Dodd played a bit center. LSU's pass protection started to struggle in the second half of the game.

What's Next

LSU returns home to host Missouri next Saturday at 6:30 p.m. SEC Network will televise it.


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