PREVIEW: The matchups - LSU vs. Auburn

"The Game" is now just two days away. TigerRag.com breaks down the matchups, position by position, for the LSU-Auburn game to be played Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium on the campus of Auburn University. Check back tomorrow for the complete game preview as well as TigerRag.com's predicition.

LSU rushing offense

vs. Auburn rushing defense:

 

The LSU Tigers have established that they are going to use several running backs this season and probably not center the running game around one featured player. Justin Vincent has been the starter, with Jacob Hester, Alley Broussard and Charles Scott rotating in and out. The Tigers rushed for 230 yards against Arizona and are averaging an even 200 yards per contest, which is good enough for 23rd nationally. Auburn defense is supposed to be among the nation's best, but the Tigers rank 51st in the nation against the run after two games, an average of 101 yards per game. The LSU offensive line will be the big question, with rookie left tackle Ciron Black and right tackle Peter Dyakowski, who is nursing a hand injury.

 

Advantage:

LSU

 

***

 

LSU passing offense

vs. Auburn passing defense:

 

JaMarcus Russell has stepped to the forefront of the SEC as arguably the best passer in the league and is among the best in the country. Russell has approached his junior year with a new attitude and focus and has been near flawless in the first two games of the season. LSU's receiving corps has been lauded as among the best in the country, and they have played that way so far this season. The Tigers are averaging 264 passing yards per game while Auburn allowed just 116 through the air, ninth nationally. Granted, Auburn's defense fattened up against punchless Mississippi State a week ago. The difference in this comparison will be Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, a former LSU assistant, and how he implements complicated blitz packages learned from former LSU coach Nick Saban. Muschamp knows Russell, LSU's offense, and how coordinator Jimbo Fisher ticks. Expect a chess match.

 

Advantage:

Even

 

***

 

Auburn rushing offense

vs. LSU rushing defense:

 

Kenny Irons is going to give Auburn the advantage in the running game in most every game. A legitimate candidate for the Heisman Trophy, Irons has all the tools to take over a game. But the LSU rush defense has been as good as advertised. The Tigers are allowing just 75 rushing yards per game. Auburn is averaging 202 yards on the ground each contest. LSU must wrap-up (especially Irons) this time around. This one's close.

 

Advantage:

Even

 

***

 

Auburn passing offense

vs. LSU passing defense:

 

Brandon Cox is doing an outstanding job directing the Auburn offense. A stable player under center, Cox isn't going to make too many mistakes and usually plays safe, making good decisions. But he has yet to face a secondary the caliber of LSU's. Jonathan Zenon leads the SEC with three interceptions through two games, and free safety LaRon Landry is the best at that position in the country. Plus, LSU's ability to get to the quarterback has been well documented. The Tigers have knocked the opposing starting quarterback out of the last two games they have played.

 

Advantage:

LSU

 

***

 

LSU special teams

vs. Auburn special teams:

 

Auburn kicker John Vaughn definitely has something to prove. Vaughn missed five field goals in last year's game in Baton Rouge, one of which would have won the game for the Tigers, the other to force a second overtime. Vaughn would love nothing more than to avenge last year's loss. LSU had problems in the season opener getting a handle on punt returns, and Chris Jackson almost had a punt blocked versus Arizona.

 

Advantage:

Auburn

 

***

 

Intangibles:

 

Auburn gets LSU at Jordan-Hare Stadium, a place where the Bayou Bengals haven't won since 1998. The game is being tabbed the game of the year in the SEC and will be one of many great games played across the country on Saturday. Even without ESPN Gameday and Fowler, Corso and Herbstreit, "The Loveliest Little Village on the PLains" will be rocking. Auburn has a bit of revenge on their mind after last season. The home team has won each of the last five games, time for that trend to change. Plus, LSU is looking to join the ranks of the national championship contenders. This one isn't for the faint of heart.

 

Advantage:

Even


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