LSU travels to Alabama to play the Auburn Tigers Saturday. Kickoff is at 6pm on ESPN. LSU is a big favorite, but will be on the road for the first time and many of the Tigers' young players will be getting their first taste of SEC play. Here's "What They are Saying" about the Tigers vs. Tigers matchup:
If Auburn is going to outlast LSU, in what will probably be one giant bruise of a game that leaves turf chopped into a shredded mess and fragments of helmet decals missing, the sort of contest the Bayou Bengals dream to play, embracing the ugliness could be the best option in the field of straws waiting to be grasped for this contest.
The Auburn defense, which has wilted in games this season, will be taken to task by LSU's potent offense. The numbers on the season aren't very good for the Tigers, who are yielding 442.0 yards per game, getting gashed especially by the run (217.0 ypg). A lack of game-changing plays has been problematic, with the team recording just two turnovers in the first three games.
After three straight home victories to start the season, LSU faces its first true test on Saturday when the team travels for an SEC clash with Auburn. It's not the toughest game on LSU's schedule, but it should be a good measuring stick of where the Tigers stand right now.
One category Auburn can usually rely on having a decisive advantage over its opponents in is special teams play. The Tigers have had tremendous success in the return game and kicking under coach Gene Chizik, but this week's matchup with No. 2 LSU will pit two teams with exemplary special teams units.
But with LSU having faced three unimpressive opponents and quarterback Zach Mettenberger heading into his first career SEC start, are the experts missing some of the factors that may be tilted in Auburn's favor?
With Alfred Blue, the Tigers' starter in the first three games, out with a leg injury for at least the Auburn game and likely several more, Hilliard appears to be the guy in the Tigers' deep stable of backs to take his place. If so, it will be his first career start.
After three dominant performances, LSU is back in a familiar position. Its first SEC opponent is in a decidedly unfamiliar one. The second-ranked Tigers will try to keep rolling during Saturday night's visit to Auburn, which nearly came into this matchup winless.
"Any time there's distraction, there is an effect," Miles said. "We've looked at any number of issues, certainly a storm, any number of off-the-field distractions. What's happened is it's became a reason to focus, a reason to get it right and a reason to pull together."
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