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A Little Bit Goes a Long Way

By on September 20th, 2013 in Featured Article, Football 11 Comments »
LSU - Tiger Stadium

Auburn and LSU are ready for a romp in the swamp!

Since early in the year, a hot topic on The Plains has been debating what record Auburn would carry into Baton Rouge in week 4. Thanks to a beautiful Marshall to Uzomah connection against Mississippi State last week, the Auburn Tigers will arrive in LSU’s Death Valley undefeated and looking to build on their hard-earned momentum in SEC play.

AUBURN FOOTBALL

C.J. Uzomah has to maintain his progression into a big-time playmaker.

Auburn’s success will be dependent on numerous things, but one of the most important will be how well they can execute. Last week they got their first taste of SEC play, but this week will have an entirely different level of intensity.

It will be an interesting matchup with Auburn rebounding from a season in which they won no SEC games for the first time in decades and LSU’s true worth somewhat shrouded in mystery after a Chic-Fil-A Bowl loss to end their 2012 season and not facing much competition en route to a 3-0 record heading into Saturday’s game. Though the Bayou Bengals certainly have the pedigree of late to be considered a clear-cut favorite over Auburn at home, last year’s contest suggests that this year’s game could be another nail-biting installment of the annual battle between these two tigers.

In the last 2 games they have been able to show great improvement in areas of focus from the previous week of practice. I expect nothing different tomorrow against LSU. For Auburn to escape with a ‘W’, they must win the turnover battle and take care of the football. Teams that are successful on the road in the SEC are teams that have the ability to focus on their main objectives and not get distracted by what is going on around them. Will the crowd be a factor? Absolutely. However, this is a strong and resilient young group of players. You can count on a mistake here and there, but this doesn’t strike me as the type of team that implodes when things get dire.

Another facet of this Auburn team that is showing early promise is the wide-out position. Malzahn (along with Marshall) has done a great job of spreading the ball around through the air and hitting multiple targets for big plays. However, the early success has not come without disappointment. There have been several key drops in each game thus far this season. This is an issue that if Auburn can eliminate it, they will be able to create some serious matchup issues with other teams.

Auburn’s defense has done a great job this season in the second half of games, but has really struggled against power running plays regardless. That is something LSU will most likely look to do early and often against Auburn. The young front 4 will have to step up and do a better job of disrupting things upfront for the rest of the defense to be able to perform. LSU quarterback, Zach Mettenberger, has thrown the ball very well this season but has not faced much pressure at all. If Auburn can keep him out of his comfort zone, they stand a good chance of landing an interception or two from rushed throws under pressure.

Auburn Fan - In Gus We TrustThough LSU completely deserves to be favored in this contest handily, I can’t help but think that Auburn will give them a tough game. Malzahn and Lashlee will have a few wrinkles that will hopefully give us the edge to jump out to an early lead and see what happens. Depending on how the coaches attack this game, will tell their true expectations for the team this season. Not that they aren’t trying to win every game, but I could totally see them staying a little extra conservative here and there in hope they would find themselves in this very position with a chance to improve to 4-0 over the #6 ranked team in the nation.

Auburn can certainly draw inspiration from last year’s game as well as last week’s total team win over Mississippi State at home. I think looking back on it, the MSU game will be a blessing in disguise. A lot of people (myself included) wanted and were convinced that Auburn would handle them easier than they did. In retrospect, I think it was just the kind of game this team needed to further solidify their belief in the coaches and the direction of the program.

No matter the result, it’s sure to be a memorable contest. Here’s to Auburn pulling out a stunner in Death Valley!

War Eagle! BEAT LSU!

11 Comments

  1. tigertracker says:

    Regarding the crowd my dad told me about the post game radio show last week. Coach Craig was asked how they prepare the team for a big game like LSU. He said, “just like any other week except we tell them don’t look in the stands. You never know what you’ll see down there.”

  2. domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

    Amen, Tigertracker. Don’t look. Just keep on keeping on and never forget:

    IT’S GREAT TO BE AN AUBURN TIGER !!!

    WAR EAGLE !!!

    GO BIG BLUE !!!

    BEAT THE PURPLE TIGERS !!!

  3. War Eagle Girl War Eagle Girl says:

    Gus is instilling confidence and that goes a long way……if they think they can~ they can!
    CJ said they were going to win the game! He believes it and that is one of the most important things. Last year they became a team of unbelievers……..
    Gus says they must play until 0:00. And guess what they did and it worked! Never give up! He says it’s a mental game and they prepare that way. It is an exciting chess match with this man in charge!

    Not worried. They WILL play to the best of their ability and for me that is the most important factor in this whole year. Win or Lose~ they will still my MY AUBURN TIGERS!!

    #GusDelorean #MarshallPlan

  4. War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

    Here’s to meatberger throwing multiple picks and their running backs running into a defensive wall!

  5. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    The deciding factor in this game will be the weather and the ensuing turnovers. It is supposed to rain a lot before game time and well into the game itself. In fact this game could turn into a game of lore just like the WVU game a few years ago. If AU can hang on to the ball and Ellessu gives it to us a few times we can easily win this game.

    Historically, more upsets happen when the weather neutralizes the better teams advantages. Almost everyone agrees that Ellessu has the better team, in a downpour, strength advantages go out the window. It usually boils down to turnovers and who wants it more. Let’s hope the good Tigers are hungrier.

    Look for at least 8 turnovers total and the winning team scoring no more than 24 points.

  6. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    It’s almost Game Day! Can’t wait! I want the D to come out hungry. Here’s the rain mucking up The Hat’s grass!

    War Eagle!

  7. Malakai Malakai says:

    Mettenburger has been accurate with his receivers this year. I’m hoping that the rain will take a lot of the passing game out of the equation. LSU has a good back (name slipped my mind) . We have three good backs. Rotating our backs will be important, but rotating them just for the hell of it shouldn’t happen. Last week Grant had the hot hand on a couple of running plays and then was subbed by CAP. It slows down the hurry-up momentum and really serves no purpose except to tell the defense to watch for a running play up the middle. I love Mason, but I believe Grant should get more touches. He’s not just an edge runner, this guy can muscle his way up the middle in short-yardage situations too.

    If the good guys are going to win they have got to have solid play from the linebackers and defensive backs. Make LSU run the ball. Our O-line also has to have more push. It was too easy for MSU to load up the box on us, we should have burned them with some big pass plays. The receivers MUST stop dropping those passes. I only counted TWO missed throws from last week. All other passes should have been completions. If we square up those short-comings then AU will walk out of Death Valley with a W.

    Is LSU more talented, i think so. Have they played anyone, nope. Is it nerve wracking to open up conference play? Yes. Are they over-confident? Most certainly.

    AU beats the corn dogs 14-10.

  8. WoodrowAU95 says:

    Sorry for going off topic, but who do you folks think will be redshirted this season?

    WAR EAGLE!!!! Now, it’s on to lunch for some corn dogs!!!!

  9. Ricky Bobby says:

    MUST win the turnover battle and minimize drive killing penalties. We have got to stop putting the ball on the ground. Another one from Mason and the coaches confidence in his ball security might severely diminish.
    WAR DAMN!

    • War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

      Right on about Mason, I sure hope he has learned how to hang on to the ball with TWO hands. It will be interesting to see if the rain helps or hurts Marshalls scambling abillities, here’s hoping for the former!

  10. War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

    Time to put up or shut up folks, I’m picking AU to win this one 31-27. I’m calling for a special teams score (LSU ranks last in the SEC in kickoff coverage and gave up a TD to TCU), and a defensive score (wet ball fumble, or Therezie pick six) along with a well balanced offensive attack with minimal mistakes and no turnovers. LSU doesn’t take AU seriously based on what I’ve read from there players, and their running game is at best unproven. Have your cigars ready!

    Side note to TET admins: Perhaps we could have a specific weekly column where we all post our AU predictions on the final score and how things will play out? I always enjoy reading everyones thoughts/logic on how the game will go.