Monday, September 22, 2008

5 Reasons Why LSU Beat Auburn 26-21

(1.) THE SPREAD WAS DEAD: Auburn's new offense is supposed to be about speed and just calling plays at reckless abandon, catching the defense off-balance. Saturday night, the offensive line was the one off-balance, looking to the sideline after every play to get the word, thus giving LSU's defense a chance to adjust. Auburn had the ball with 6 minutes left and a one-point lead, but couldn't run nor did they try to run the clock down, both factors killed them.

(2) AUBURN COULDN'T RUN THE BALL: With Ben Tate moving the chain in half=yard increments (Auburn finished with just 70 yards rushing) Auburn needed the swifty cutback services of running back Brad Lester. But he went out with a right leg injury mid-way through the third quarter, one week after being knocked out with a neck strain last week against Mississippi State. The loss was devastating for Auburn's offense: It mean Chris Todd (250 passing yards on 17 completions in 32 attempts) would have to do it all.

(3.) LSU COULD: Around LSU's third drive, a funny thing happened, tailback Charles Scott (132 yards on 21 carries) started to break off 6- and 7-yard gains on a blitzing defense. As the night wore on, Scott's legwork started to wear on the Auburn defense. “We fought hard on defense but I thought we got tired a little bit,” Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said. Scott, the first LSU running back to go over 100 yards at Auburn, led an LSU rushing attack that had 178 yards on 38 carries.

(4) AUBURN FAILED TO CAPITALIZE ON LSU MISTAKES: Remember, LSU has only played 2 games, one being cancelled because of Hurricane Gustav, and it showed. Return man Trindon Holliday fumbled twice trying to catch punts and LSU got the ball both times. Jarrett Lee's costly interception that was returned for Auburn’s second touchdown by defensive end Gabe McKenzie should have been accompanied by constant pressure from Auburn on the young quarterback, but he was allowed to get his legs under him.

(5) TUBERVILLE WAS OUTCOACHED: Rare is the day when Les Miles outcoaches anyone (including last year), but the playcalling was masterful (an onside kick, running back Keiland Williams' 22-yard pass to Demetrius Byrd, and a few that didn't work). Tuberville tried his conservative best to counter, sending quarterback Chris Todd on read-runs early in the second half, but they didn't stay with it. “The big thing was, we were trying to be smart and not turn the ball over,” Todd said. “The defense has played great all year.”

P.S. Is Auburn's season over?

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