October 1, 2020

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LSU took the field to a solemn, cold, and overcast day. The chance of rain was….slight. The beginning of the game felt off. LSU got off to a slow start, having their first two drives stall and end in punts. Auburn would strike first in the game. Kicking a 30 yard field goal, LSU would trail in the first quarter and not score on the next possession for the first time this season. LSU had been down in previous games to Northwestern State and Vandy, but scored on the next possession. They did not do that tonight. In fact, they had multiple drives of a scoring drought tonight. Something this offense has not seen at all this season. The field did not do them any favors either, as it was slowly being churned into a mud hole.

Early in the second quarter, quarterback Joe Burrow took a big hit on a scramble while running out of bounds. It was a close call for the refs to make on whether or not to throw a flag, and given that there is so much emphasis on protecting the quarterback now, it was strange to see that no flag was thrown in this case. After the game, Burrow said “I think that is a quarterback shows toughness it can really get the team going. That’s what I try to do every day in the weight room and on the field. If you lay down on the field and don’t hop back up, it shows the team that you’re not really into it.” Burrow would rally his team after that hit and get them into the end zone on a pass to receiver Terrace Marshall from 20 yards out.

Auburn would get their next touchdown on a Derek Stingley fumbled punt. The play was reviewed and it seemed like his knee was down prior to the ball coming out. But, the ruling on the field was confirmed. This set up Auburn with a very short field to work with from their own 22 yard line. It took Auburn 7 plays and three goal line attempts to finally punch the ball in with quarterback Bo Nix. LSU would answer right back driving down 73 yards to kick a field goal and tie the game up at 10 apiece.

On their next drive and with four seconds left in the half quarterback Bo Nix threw an interception to defensive back Derek Stingley, who seemed to redeem himself after the fumbled punt. LSU would take over at their own two yard line, and down the ball. Thinking the half was over, both teams started jogging back into their locker rooms, when suddenly it was announced that Auburn had called a timeout. So with two seconds left to go in the half, the LSU offense trotted back out onto the field for one more snap in the half. I am not sure what Coach Malzahn was thinking calling that timeout, but the Gus Bus wheels were moving.

LSU came out in the second half and would receive the ball. They would go just five plays for 21 yards and punt to Auburn. Fans were getting nervous at this point, two opening drives for LSU that resulted in no points for the Tigers. Statistically the Tigers should have scored on either drive, but they did not. A very strange occurrence for LSU. Then LSU would drive to the Auburn three yard line and be turned away four straight times.

Tight End Thaddeus Moss had the biggest game of his career as a Tiger. Hauling in seven receptions for 45 yards, his previous high was five receptions. Look for the Tigers to keep leaning on him and Stephen Sullivan as the season progresses. “You have to give credit to Thaddeus (Moss), he blocked his tail off against guys who are 40-50 pounds bigger.” says Joe Burrow during post-game interviews. “Thaddeus Moss is one of the best tight ends in the country.”

If there was a full moon tonight and a black cat streaked in front of the bus before the Tiger Walk that might explain more of what happened on the field than what actually did. LSU dominated on every stat column you could imagine. Total yardage, passing, rushing. A huge one that jumped out to me tonight was first downs. LSU had 30 Auburn had 16. LSU nearly doubled every stat against Auburn. But in this game tonight 27 combined penalties between the two teams for 216 yards.

After victories over three top 10 opponents, when the playoff rankings are released on Tuesday, look for LSU to be in the No. 1 spot