MATCHUPS

A look at the head-to-head showdown between LSU and Auburn along with our prediction of the winner.

LSU rushing offense vs. Auburn rushing defense
LSU continues to enjoy good production from its ground game, gaining over 200 yards for the sixth game in a row against South Carolina. Domanick Davis is proving to be a durable back capable of handling the extra work in LaBrandon Toefield's absence, but help is available from Joseph Addai and Shyrone Carey.
Auburn gave up 426 rushing yards against Arkansas and can't afford to be that generous to LSU.
Advantage: LSU

LSU passing offense vs. Auburn pass defense
Auburn's pass efficiency defense is a respectable 28th in the Division I-A standings after its loss at Florida. Rex Grossman had one of his better outing this season in a 27-of-35 night for 242 yards and the game-winning touchdown in overtime.
Since LSU shut down the same Florida passing game a week earlier, I'm hesitant Auburn an edge here. Plus, Marcus Randall has a one strong passing performance under his belt.
Advantage: Slight to Auburn

Auburn rushing offense vs. LSU rushing defense
The Plainsmen average better than 205 yards rushing per game (23rd nationally) but their stats are slanted with 345 against Division I-AA Western Carolina. Arkansas and Florida held Auburn well below its median the last two weeks.
LSU is 11th in the nation in run defense, holding opponents to 93 yards a game. It looks as though LSU ranking carries more weight here, especially with Cadillac parked for the season.
Advantage: LSU

Auburn passing offense vs. LSU passing defense
The two-headed quarterback beast at Auburn can observe its reflection in the passing game statistics. It's been milquetoast throughout the season with interceptions only becoming a problem in the last two games (two in each).
LSU leads the country in pass efficiency defense, and it would be a shock for the likes of Daniel Cobb or Jason Campbell to inflict any serious damage.
Advantage: LSU

LSU special teams vs. Auburn special teams
Damon Duval is having a good year punting but his kicking has been detrimental this season. He is 4-of-10 for the season and has relinquished the kicking chores.
Auburn is also struggling on kickoff returns, where LSU leads the NCAA with an average of close to 29 yards per chance. LSU's kickoff coverage unit had its best game of the season against South Carolina and can help win the battle of field position if the offense provides them with opportunities.
Advantage: LSU

Intangibles
Auburn has its back against the wall and knows they won't get a better chance to get back into the thick of things in the SEC West. The Plainsmen have to play at Ole Miss and Alabama and face a home date with Georgia in between.
If Tuberville can get his team to play with reckless abandon, they can pay LSU back for the season-ending loss at Tiger Stadium last season.
Advantage: Auburn

Prediction
I don't think Auburn can beat LSU if both teams played their best game head-to-head on a neutral field. Only mistakes on LSU's part will give Team Tuberville a chance to stay around in the game.
Throw in the home field advantage and the chance exists for Auburn to pull the upset.
But to this point in the season, Nick Saban's squad has played very disciplined football and won't fall prey to the costly brand of emotion Tuberville seems to endorse.

Predicted score: LSU 24, Auburn 14

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