TIGERS TIMES TWO
AUBURN, LSU FACE OFF IN DEATH VALLEY IN KEY SEC TILT
KEYS FOR AUBURN
Defend the edge. One of the reasons LSU presumably hired Matt Canada as a high-priced offensive coordinator after last season was to implement the sort of things he did last year at Pittsburgh — involve a lot of players in the offense and use jet sweeps to great effect. Finally unleashed last week, the Tigers looked like they were running Canada’s offense. Stopping plays to the outside is a priority this week for Auburn. Carry on, Kerryon. Coach Gus Malzahn has found himself a workhorse back in Kerryon Johnson, who has rushed for 11 touchdowns over the last three games. As a point of comparison, he had 11 touchdowns all of last season in 182 rushing attempts. Fresh off a 204-yard day against Mississippi, Johnson figures to be the centerpiece of the Auburn offense as it heads into Death Valley.
KEYS FOR LSU
Don’t waste scoring
chances. No one is going to suggest this LSU team is the most explosive bunch that’s ever graced Baton Rouge. But while it isn’t statistically bad at much, one thing stands out — red zone offense. The Tigers are tied for 116th nationally, scoring just 72.7 percent of the time they get inside the 20. With Auburn wielding a quality offense, LSU can illafford to squander whatever chances it creates.
Silence Stidham. It’s simply a fact of life that Auburn is going to run the ball a lot, and it will probably enjoy some success in that area against just about anyone. But if QB Jarrett Stidham gets going — and though Auburn is 70th nationally in passing yardage, it is 13th in pass efficiency — it will surely be a long night for LSU. Taking away big plays in the passing game is a must for Ed Orgeron’s team.
Auburn 23-13. The last time Auburn came to Death Valley and left with a victory was 1999. That means LSU held serve at home against the SEC West’s other Tigers throughout the Nick Saban and Les Miles eras. LSU looked better in last week’s triumph at Florida, but that also came against a team with offensive limitations.
Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson carries the ball during the first half of a game against Mississippi Oct. 7 in Auburn, Ala.