PREVIEW: Tigers vs. Tigers - The Matchups's unit by unit analysis of Saturday's LSU-Auburn game.

LSU rushing offense vs. Auburn rushing defense


LSU fans do not want to even think about LSU's running game in the Tigers' 7-3 loss at Auburn a year ago. Time and again LSU tried to bang its big backs against the middle of Auburn's defensive line only to come away with nothing. But things have changed a little bit since a year ago. The Tigers are second in the SEC in rushing offense and ranked 10th nationally, accumulating 232 yards per game on the ground. The Tigers have eclipsed the 250-yard rushing mark in four games against ranked opponents this season. Against those four ranked foes (Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Florida and Kentucky), LSU has averaged 278 yards per game on the ground. Auburn is only allowing 109 yards per game, so it should be a good matchup. But the advantage goes LSU's way.


Advantage: LSU



LSU passing offense vs. Auburn passing defense


Who could have imagined LSU's passing game would be struggling the way it has the last few weeks? The Tigers are currently ranked 88th in the nation in passing offense, putting up a total of 195 yards per game. Matt Flynn's numbers aren't much to look at, and the coaching staff has not allowed Ryan Perrilloux to throw the football hardly at all in the last four games. In Flynn's defense, had LSU receivers caught half the passes they've dropped, he'd be a 60-percent passer. Auburn is good against the pass, ranked 12th in the nation (169 ypg).


Advantage: Auburn



Auburn rushing offense vs. LSU rushing defense


LSU has ranked among the nation's best against the run the last several years and are still only allowing 67 yards per game. Those stats are deceiving due to the fact the Tigers held Middle Tennessee and South Carolina to a combined 26 yards on the ground. Florida and Kentucky both rushed well over 100 yards in each of the last two games against LSU. The Tigers have surrendered large chunks of yardage, mostly set up by the explosive passing attacks of each of the last two opponents. Auburn isn't all that great on the ground (or the pass, for the matter). Brad Lester's return has sparked the running game, but let's call it even right now.


Advantage: Even



Auburn passing offense vs. LSU passing defense


If you think LSU is struggling to throw the football, Auburn is even worse. The Tigers, led by Brandon Cox, are averaging just 105 passing yards per game (105th nationally). The reason Auburn's running game has struggled is the fact Cox can't get the ball to anyone except Rodgeriqus Smith. It's time LSU's pass defense can finally get some confidence after giving up 250 yards to Kentucky's Andre Woodson last week.


Advantage: LSU



LSU special teams vs. Auburn special teams

Special teams is actually one of LSU's strongest points this season. The Tigers' only flaw has been allowing more yardage than they'd like on kickoffs. But place-kicker Colt David and punter Patrick Fisher have been more than effective for the most part. Auburn uses two different punters and is averaging just over 43 yards per kick. Place-kicker Wes Byrum has had two game-winning field goals in the last three games. He silenced the Gators in Gainesville with a game-winning 43-yarder and then booted a chip shot last Saturday in Fayetteville. Unlike with John Vaughn in the past, LSU fans had better hope it doesn't come down to a field goal.


Advantage: Auburn

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