Members of The Reveille sports staff share their thoughts and score predictions ahead of No. 2 LSU's (7-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) matchup with No. 9 Auburn (6-1, 3-1 SEC).
Block, block and block | Brandon Adam
There’s one spot where Auburn has a clear and obvious advantage — its defensive line. It’s not that LSU’s offensive line is bad, the unit is significantly improved from last year, but Auburn’s defensive line is that good.
Led by defensive tackle Derrick Brown, Auburn’s defensive line is one of, if not, the best in college football. Auburn has 20 sacks and allow 3.1 yards per carry.
LSU did a good job against Auburn last year, and the offensive line kept senior quarterback Joe Burrow clean against Florida, who has the best pass rush in the SEC. LSU will win the game either way, but the play of the offensive line will determine the margin of victory.
Prediction: LSU 34, Auburn 17
Identity | Myles Kuss
All the talk this week has been about Auburn quarterback Bo Nix and how the Auburn defensive line is not scared of any part of LSU’s offense.
Well, they should be. But coach Ed Orgeron and passing game coordinator Joe Brady need to stay committed to what has worked all season — throwing the football.
Joe Burrow is averaging 11 yards per attempt, so, even when times get tough, just throw the ball. Auburn will try to drop as many in coverage as possible, but LSU’s identity must stay the same.
Brady and offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger will put the ball in the hands of his best player early and often as Burrow will find a way to control the game even when faced with different coverages and pressures. LSU’s offense is simply too strong against one that is being led by a true freshman.
Prediction: LSU 42, Auburn 24
Prevent a Florida repeat | Jacob Beck
Leading into LSU’s matchup with Florida, much was made of Gators quarterback Kyle Trask making his first start since his junior varsity high school days. How would Trask respond playing in one of the most electric big-game atmospheres?
Pretty darn good as it would turn out, throwing for over 300 yards and three touchdowns. LSU failed to get a pass rush in the first half and Trask torched the Tigers secondary, but second half adjustments by LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda slowed the Gators, only allowing seven second half points.
For LSU fans sake, they’ll hope not to wait until the second half to harass true freshman quarterback Bo Nix, who has been a little inconsistent thus far, but has the arm talent required to make tough throws. If LSU can get consistent pressure on Nix, this one could be over quickly. If not, we could be in for Florida deja vu. I expect the former.
Prediction: LSU 41, Auburn 27