By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
Happy Halloween Tiger Fans.. No treats for us on Saturday as LSU suffers an embarrassing 48-11 loss to the Auburn Tigers on the "Plains"...
Enough is enough! Bo Pelini must go!.. As a head coach, Ed Orgeron must know by now that it's not going to improve or get any better defensively for his Fighting Tigers with Pelini running things. After five games and a bye week there is still too much confusion and miscommunication in the secondary. Still too many missed tackles. Very Poor coaching.
The offensive sputtered without a running game. A true freshmen starting his first SEC game on the road has zero chance of success without an established running game. It's pretty obvious that with the struggles the Tigers have had all season long, they must run the football effectively and win the turnover battle if they want any chance of victory. They did neither today. Results, a Halloween Massacre....
A Game break down by quarter is below...
Auburn would win the coin toss and defer, setting LSU up to take the opening kickoff. The Tigers would go three-and-out quickly..
Both teams would spark short drives but continue to trade punts until LSU would mount a drive late in the quarter with 3:07 left on the clock. T.J. Finley would hit Trey Parker for a 24 yard gain across the middle on first down. The quarter would end with LSU looking at a 4th and four at the Auburn 36 yard line, after driving 44 yards on 8 plays.
On the first play of the 2nd quarter, Cade York would miss a 54 yard field goal attempt,
just pushing it off to the right of the up right.
Auburn would take over from their 36 yard line and on first down, Bo Nix would swing to ball out to a wide open Eli Stove who would rumble for a 38 yard gain down to the LSU 26 yard line. Two plays later Nix would connect with Seth Williams on a nice back shoulder throw. Williams who was being covered by Derek Stingley Jr. made a great catch, however, Stingley would make a fantastic play punching the ball loose around the one yard line. The ball would end up going into the end zone and then out of bounds for a touchback, giving LSU the first turnover of the game.
Finley would come out firing away on 1st and ten from his own 20 yard line hitting Racey McMath for a 22 yard gain up to the Tigers' 42. Two plays later Finley would over throw Terrace Marshall and the ball ended up in the hands of Auburn's Nehemiah Pritchett for an interception. It seemed like Pritchett would return the turnover 52 yards for a pick-six, but after further review he was ruled to have stepped out at the four yard line.
Auburn would quickly draw first blood. After an illegal formation penalty, Bo Nix would hit a wide open Eli Stove who would take it into end zone thanks to a break down in the LSU secondary. Auburn kicker Anders Carlson would add the PAT giving the Tigers a 7-0 lead with 12:13 to go in the first half.
Both teams would exchange punts leading to LSU finding themselves starting a drive from their own 25 yard line. Two plays later, on 3rd and six, T.J. Finley would drop back to throw, hold onto the ball too long, then fumble the ball while being sacked by Derick Hall. Christian Tutt would scoop up the ball and return it 20 yards for the score extending Auburn's lead to 14-0 with 5:27 to go until halftime.
LSU would set up shop at their 34 yard line after a nice kickoff return by Trey Palmer but the Tigers would not be able to take advantage of the good starting field position and would be forced to punt the ball away after going only 11 yards in just six plays. LSU punter Zach Von Rosenberg would rocket a 54 yard punt that would be downed at the Auburn 1 yard line.
With their backs to the goal line, Auburn would begin to take control of the line of scrimmage. Tank Bigsby would give the home team Tigers some much needed breathing room as he would turn the corner on 1st down and head up the far sidelines for a 26 yard gain. Auburn would then begin to gash LSU for huge gains on their way to another score, as Nix would find a wide open Ze'Vian Capers in the near corner of the end zone as the LSU secondary seemed confused on the play. The scoring drive would cover 99 yards in only eight plays. 21-0 Auburn with only 40 seconds left in the first half.
Trey Palmer would take the kickoff and almost return it for a touchdown for the second week in a row, but Auburn's kicker Anders Carlson, would make a touchdown saving tackle after a 33 yard return. Starting at their own 35 yard line with only 33 second left in the half, Finley would complete a 18 yard pass to Jaray Jenkins, then connect with Racey McMath down to the Auburn 33 with three seconds left on the clock. Cade York would hit a 50 yard field goal on the last play of the first half to bring the halftime score to 21-3.
Auburn would take the second half kickoff and begin their total second half domination of LSU. The home team Tigers would make it look easy going 75 yards in eight plays capped off by Bo Nix rolling out to the near side and out running the LSU defense, diving to the pylon for a five yard touchdown run. Carlson would convert the PAT for a 28-3 Auburn advantage.
LSU would begin their first drive of the second half 1st and ten at their 25 yard line. This is where the real nightmare would begin. Finley would drop back to throw and have his pass deflected up in the air at the line of scrimmage. The ball would be intercepted by defensive end Big Cat Bryant at the LSU 21 yard line.
Five plays later Tank Bigsby would punch it into the end zone from two yards out to put Auburn up 35-3.
Coach Orgeron would make a change at quarterback on LSU's next possession replacing T.J. Finley with Max Johnson. Johnson would fair no better as the Tigers would go three-and-out giving the ball right back to the Auburn Tigers.
The Auburn offense would continue to have their way with a beaten and battered LSU defense, driving 69 yards in 12 plays, with Tank Bigsby trotting into the end zone untouched from three yards out. The drive was highlighted by a huge 21 yard scramble by Bo Nix for a big 1st down on 3rd and eight to keep the drive alive. With 1:33 to go in the 3rd quarter, Auburn would hold a 42-3 lead.
The one dimensional LSU offense would continue to struggle against an Auburn defense that played inspiring football all game long. Max Johnson would find Arik Gilbert for a 17 yard gain to the LSU 44 yard line before the drive would stall on the final play of the quarter as on a 3rd and one, John Emery would be tackled in the back field for a three yard loss.
The 4th quarter would begin with LSU punting the ball away to Auburn. Von Rosenberg would once again do a great job, booting a 41 yard punt out of bounds at the Auburn eight yard line.
With 14:48 left in the game and holding on a 42-3 lead, Bo Nix would attack for more. on the first play of the drive Nix would drop back and throw deep down the middle hitting a wide open Anthony Schwartz in stride for a 91 yard touchdown. Schwartz easily blew by the LSU secondary and was ten yards ahead of the closes Tiger when he pulled the pass in. The drive would officially go down as 91 yards on one play taking 11 seconds. Anders Carlson would miss the extra point and with 14:37 still left in the ball game, Auburn increased their lead to 48-3.
LSU could only manage one first down on their next possession before punting the ball back to the home team.
Gus Malzahn would begin to insert back up players into the contest on both sides of the ball. The LSU defense would be able to hold the Auburn second team offense in check forcing a punt after a three-and-out.
LSU would finally find their way into the end zone as Max Johnson would make a beautiful deep throw to Kayshon Boutte for a 43 yard touchdown. The drive would cover 71 yards in four plays. The Tigers would go for two points on the try after and convert it on a one yard scramble across the goal line by Max Johnson. With 8:43 left in the game, Auburn would hold a dominating 48-11 lead.
The Auburn second unit on offense would continue on working the clock, but would once again go three-and-out.
Max Johnson and the LSU offense would start their final drive from their own 20 yard line. The Tigers would drive to the Auburn 25 yard line and face a 4th and seven. Johnson would be sacked for a five yard loss as LSU would turn the ball over on downs.
Auburn would run out the final 2:59 left on the clock to capture a well deserved 48-11 victory over LSU.
A total meltdown. After last weeks 52-24 victory over South Carolina at home after a unscheduled bye week, things were starting to look promising for these talented young men in the purple and gold. But what we just witnessed is inexcusable. The Tigers were dominated by Auburn on both sides of the ball. A huge disappointment that LSU was unable to run the football against an Auburn defense that has given up a lot of yardage on the ground so far this season. John Emery was the leading rusher in the game with only 21 yards on nine carries. LSU finished the game with 32 total yards rushing. LSU also had three costly turnovers.
"We tried to run the ball" Orgeron said in his postgame press conference. "We couldn't block those guys." ... The offensive line which was coming off their best performance of the season really struggled against a very physical Auburn defense. "We just got punched in the faceand absolutely killed. But we have to respond." Said center Liam Shanahan. "It's tough to say that now. It stings a lot right now, we just got embarrassed on a national stage. We're gunna get back at it. Get on the film and I'm sure there will be a lot to correct."
Both quarterbacks struggled as they were under pressure all game long. T.J. Finley finished 13-24, 143 yards passing, with 2 Interceptions, while Max Johnson went 15-24, 172 yards passing, 1 touchdown pass.
Arik Gilbert lead the team in receiving with 55 yards on six catches. Terrace Marshall has only 4 catches for 28 yards.
The defense actually played a solid first quarter, but once Auburn got two quick scores off of turnovers it seemed like the defense started to fall apart. Auburn rolled up 506 total yards of offense, (206 rushing and 300 passing). Bo Nix had an outstanding game for Auburn as he would finish 18-24, 300 yards passing, and 3 touchdown passes. He was also the leading rusher for Auburn with 81 yards on 11 carries and a rushing touchdown. The Tigers were unable to sack Nix as he always seemed to be able to slip away and escape from the LSU rush.
Micah Baskerville lead the team in tackles with 10 total, while Todd Harris and JaCoby Stevens would contribute 7 tackles each. Blown assignments continue to happen in the secondary leading to several wide open receivers who were able to make big plays. Auburn was able to make adjustments to their running game early in the second quarter as they began to dominate the line of scrimmage and pound the ball down LSU's throat. When asked if there could be a change in staff responsibilities on the defensive side of the ball after another poor performance, Orgeron would say there will be no changes and he will evaluate the staff at the end of the season. Hang in there Tiger fans. It's going to be a long season.
With the loss LSU now falls to 2-3 on the season. Next up for the Tigers is a bye week before hosting the #2 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in Tiger Stadium on Saturday November 14th. Kickoff is set for 5pm on CBS.
Photos By: LSU/SEC