September 30, 2020

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Photo Credit Stephen Lew

LSU will take on Auburn this Saturday in a very highly anticipated matchup between two top ten rivals. The Tiger Bowl as what it has been come to be known as pits No. 2 LSU against No. 9 Auburn. This will be the third match up of a top ten opponent that LSU has faced this season.

LSU enters the game coming off a road game victory. In a very noisy Davis Wade Stadium against a tough Mississippi State Bulldog opponent, the Tigers got the victory 36-13, and avenged their 37-7 loss there two years ago. LSU remains perfect with a 7-0 record.

Auburn comes into the game with a recent 51-10 win over Arkansas and a very good 6-1 record. Their only loss being to Florida, in The Swamp. Auburn freshman quarterback Bo Nix credits the Gators home field advantage as being a contributing factor in that loss. “It was really loud and we had trouble hearing the clap for the cadence,” stated Nix after the game. “Sometimes we had slow communication. Stuff like that happens, every team that walks into The Swamp has communication issues.”

If communication issues were bad for Nix and Auburn in The Swamp, do not expect them to be any better in front of a capacity crowd in Death Valley. LSU Head Coach Ed Orgeron stated earlier this week that “Tiger Stadium is going to be on fire at 2:30pm Central Standard Time. We’re going to need them as a winning edge, like we did against Georgia, and Florida.”

Many in the national media have suggested that with the injury to Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa that the Tigers may be looking past this match up against Auburn. That can be no further from the truth. LSU is fully aware what is waiting for them and they know that they will be in for a slugfest come Saturday. Historically, with the Tiger Bowl, the home team has normally claimed victory. LSU currently has a nine game winning streak at Tiger Stadium against Auburn going back to 2001. LSU has won the last two, and three of the last four games against Auburn. The last three games have been decided by a total of 10 points.

Coach Ed Orgeron heaped praise on Auburns defensive line, especially Derrick Brown. “The best defensive line we’ll see, we have seen so far, led by Derrick Brown. I remember recruiting Derrick Brown. He stood up in the doorway, he filled up the whole doorway. That’s the type of player he is. A mountain of a man.” Orgeron went on to applaud Brown’s decision in staying another year at Auburn. “I’m glad he stayed. Really it’s good for college football, he’s probably going to be a top five pick. I recruited him, I wish that man the best of luck. Obviously, not this Saturday, but good to see him play very well.”

LSU Center Lloyd Cushenberry stated during player interviews, “they (Auburn) are big and physical, they don’t really do too much as far as moving and stunts, but they are going to trust their guys to win their one-on-one matchups. The same thing with us, we do a lot of five man protection, and that is what the game is going to come down to, winning your one-on-one matchups.”

LSU knows what they have against them, they know that they will be facing one of the best defensive lines in the country, and possible one of the best interior defensive linemen in Derrick Brown. LSU faced an impressive Florida defensive front and kept their quarterback upright and clean the entire game. The difference between the defensive line of the Gators and the one for Auburn is vastly different.

The Gators tried to beat LSU on the ends with speed, trying to collapse the pocket. This allowed Joe Burrow to step up into the pocket and into his throws to connect with his receivers. Auburn will use Brown and bull rush him out of a three technique and four technique. This normally requires teams to double team Brown. “These guys are a little more bull rush,” says Cushenberry “Florida was a little more speed, so we definitely have to get our hands on quick, and anchor down.”

When asked about facing an interior defensive lineman like Derrick Brown, quarterback Joe Burrow made sure to give his offensive linemen credit saying “we have great guys on the interior too, we have D-Lew (Damian Lewis), we’ve got Lloyd (Cushenberry), and Adrian (Magee), and Ed (Ingram), who we play on that side. Obviously, he’s one of the most dominant players in college football. But, we have a lot of confidence in our guys too.” The LSU quarterback says that he is preparing for this game like he does every other game, but knows it is a big one. “My preparation is the same, I think if you treat a big game any different, you are kind of going in with your hands tied behind your back. So I do the same thing every week.”

Players to Watch:

LSU OG Adrian Magee

“The guy that is the surprise of the year to me is Adrian Magee. I said it the first week, I thought Ed (Ingram) was going to start. Adrian has experience, playing well there. I thought the line is the most improved group. Not playing great. They did good against Florida. They’re going to get tested this week” – Head Coach Ed Orgeron

LSU WR Terrace Marshall

“We will see how much he can do. He gives us a big threat in the red zone. ” – Ed Orgeron

Marshall returns after missing several games due to injury. The big bodied receiver is a huge red zone threat, and until recently lead the team in touchdowns, even after missing three games.

LSU Tight End Thaddeus Moss

“The more we can throw to the tight end, the more it’s going to open up for our wide receivers. I think the tight end down the middle puts a lot of pressure on the defense, especially when you have some receivers on the outside.” – Ed Orgeron

Moss has been a chain mover for the Tigers in the previous three games, and an “X Factor” in the last two. With big catches of 25 yards against Florida, and 24 against Mississippi State. Look for the junior tight end to make another impact when called upon Saturday.