LSU-Auburn: Facts & Factors

AUBURN, Ala. - The dust has settled on the Plains of Auburn with the homestanding Tigers pulling out a 7-3 victory over LSU on Saturday. here, we take a look at some of the key stats of the game and more.

Quote of the Game:


"It was their defense. They have a heck of a team and they played a heck of a game. We were able to grind out one touchdown and our defense came up big."


- Auburn quarterback Brandon Cox on why the Auburn offense struggled



Turning Point:


People will be talking about this one for a while.


On fourth and eight from the Auburn 31, JaMarcus Russell fired a strike toward Early Doucet over the middle. As Doucet leaped into the air, Zach Gilbert clearly undercut the Tiger wide receiver. Just after the initial contact by Gilbert, Eric Brock came diving into the play swatting Russell's pass away, subsequently forcing LSU to turn the ball over on downs.


Back judge Mike New stepped toward Gilbert and dropped a penalty flag and signaled for defensive pass interference, a call that would have given LSU first and 10 from the Auburn 16.


As Les Miles pumped an enthusiastic fist and Auburn fans booed wildly, the officials huddled near the 30 yard line for several moments. Referee Jeff Roberson emerged from the conference and waved off the penalty stating the ball had been tipped, thus nullifying any interference by Gilbert.


LSU players stomped about and Miles plead his case, but Auburn was awarded the ball at their own 31.



Stat of the Game:


Les Miles was amazed following the game that LSU had been better than Auburn in almost every statistical category, including two areas which Miles said are the most important.

"If someone had told me we won the turnover battle, had over 300 yards and out-gained our opponent, I would have thought it would have been a different outcome," Miles said.

The Tigers were 1-0 in favor of takeaways (a Craig Steltz interception) and out-gained Auburn 309-182.



By the Numbers:


2.1 – More yards per play that LSU averaged over Auburn. The Tigers gained an average of 5.2 yards each snap while Auburn managed just 3.1. LSU averaged 7.2 yards per pass compared to just 5.5 by Auburn. The homestanding Tigers just edged LSU in rushing comparisons gaining 1.9 yards per rush offset by the bayou Bengals' 1.8.


8 – Points by which the last three LSU and Auburn games combined have been decided. The Tigers lost to Auburn 10-9 in 2004, nipped the Plainsmen 20-17 last season before Saturday's four-point affair.


7 – Wins by Auburn versus top 10 teams in their last eight tries. The all-time LSU-Auburn series still stands in the Tigers' favor, but not by much with LSU leading 21-19-1.


7 – Straight times the home team has won in this series. Auburn has captured victories in 2000, 2002, 2004 and now 2006 while the Tigers won contests in 2001, 2003 and 2005.


42 – Straight games free safety LaRon Landry has recorded a tackle in a game. Strong safety Jesse Daniels extended his streak to 32 straight contests with a stop.



Three Points:


1. VAUGHN GETS UPRIGHT – What is it with LSU and kickers. No need to re-visit all of the special team kicking blunders in LSU's recent past, but the Tigers' ability to put the gris-gris on opposing kickers is downright uncanny. There was Billy Bennett and Jonathan Nichols in 2003, both outstanding kickers who choked in big games versus LSU. Nichols went on to win the Lou Groza Award. Then there was poor Alexis Serna (2004), who missed three extra points against LSU, then won the Groza award. In 2005, John Vaughn missed five field goals in last year's LSU-Auburn game, including one in overtime that hit the right upright. And on Saturday, Vaughn pulled a 21-yard attempt left, which clanged off the upright. Vaughn, who was 10 of 12 since the LSU game last year in Tiger Stadium, is 0 for his last 6 field goal attempts against the Tigers.


2. NO TD THIS WEEK – No one hardly noticed, but upstart LSU cornerback Jonathan Zenon went AWOL early in the first quarter versus Auburn. On LSU's first defensive possession, Zenon left the game after a collision and never returned. It was announced later Zenon, who has three interceptions this season, two returned for touchdowns, suffered a concussion.


3. BIG HIT – The first three games of this young 2006 season has produced a highlight reel of big hits already. LaRon Landry's leveling of Arizona quarterback Willie Tuitama was the biggest hit of record, but that wasn't before Glenn Dorsey mauling of Kenny Irons Saturday. On first and 10 from the Auburn 49, Irons took the handoff from Brandon Cox up the middle. But before he could reach the line of scrimmage, Dorsey had shot the gap and was in the backfield nose to nose with Irons. Dorsey scooped up the 203-pound Irons and slammed him down on his back, a la "Waterboy Power Bomb."

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