Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
BATON ROUGE, LA - It was not only one of the best games of the 2018 season, but perhaps one of the best games in LSU football history.
The 14th ranked LSU Tigers (2-0) headed to the Plains to take on the undefeated #7 Auburn Tigers (2-0) in a nationally televised contest. It would be the SEC season opener for both schools and Jordan-Hare Stadium was filled to capacity for the 2:30pm kickoff on CBS.
Auburn received the opening kickoff and begin the drive from their own 25 yard line, but would become quick victims of DBU on the second play of the game. Facing 2nd and eight, Jarrett Stidham dropped back to throw and fired a pass under heavy pressure that Grant Delpit intercepted at the Auburn 34 yard line.
The LSU offense took full advantage of the first turnover of the game, driving 34 yards in nine plays for the first score of the day as Clyde Edwards-Helaire would power into the end zone from one yard out to give the Tigers an early 7-0 lead.
After both teams traded punts, Auburn would drive into LSU territory and face a 4th and one at the LSU 15 yard line. Gus Malzahn decided to roll the dice and go for it instead of settling for a field goal attempt. The LSU defense shut the door in Auburn's face as Devon White tackled JaTarvious Whitlow for a two yard loss giving the Tigers the ball back with 6:04 left in the first quarter.
LSU moved the ball 48 yards in eleven plays before the drive stalled at the Auburn 35 yard line with 29 seconds left in the first quarter. Cole Tracy entered the game attempting to increase the LSU lead, but missed the 53 yard field goal try. It was Tracy's first miss of the season.
LSU started their next possession from their own 11 yard line early in the second quarter, driving 75 yards in ten plays to extend their lead to 10-0 with 8:37 left in the half on a Cole Tracy 33 yard field goal. The big play of the drive came on a 1st and ten from the LSU 22 yard line when Joe Burrow found Justin Jefferson for a 33 yard gain down to the Auburn 45.
Auburn dominated the final eight minutes of the first half, holding LSU to two three-and-out possessions, while they put together two nice long scoring drives.
The first scoring drive for the home Tigers came on a 74 yard, ten play drive that took 3:31 off the clock as JaTarvious Whitlow would score from seven yards out to cut LSU's lead to 10-7 with 5:06 remaining in the half.
Auburn would get the ball right back after their defense held LSU to minus three yards on three plays, Auburn would then take their first lead of the contest. Shaun Shivers scored on a seven yard run with 1:31 left on the clock, ending an eight play, 66 yard drive.
Auburn took a 14-10 lead and the momentum into the locker room at the half as Jordan-Hare Stadium loudly celebrated their approval.
LSU took the second half kickoff and drove into Auburn territory but stalled at the 45 yard line where the Tigers faced a 4th and three. Ed Orgeron tried to surprise the Auburn defense with a fake punt, but Zach Von Rosenberg's pass attempt fell incomplete as LSU turned the ball over on downs.
Auburn made LSU pay for the missed opportunity, driving 55 yards in seven plays, scoring on a four yard touchdown pass from Jarrett Stidham to Darius Slayton, giving Auburn a 21-10 lead with 10:38 left in the third quarter.
After both teams traded punts, LSU began their next scoring drive from their own 32. On 1st down Joe Burrow would connect with Dee Anderson on a 20 yard completion to the Auburn 48 yard line. A 15 yard personal foul face mask penalty against the defense, move the ball to the Auburn 33. The Tigers reached the Auburn eight yard line but couldn't punch it in, settling for a 27 yard Cole Tracy field goal, cutting the lead to 21-13 with 3:58 left in the third quarter.
Auburn would begin the fourth quarter driving to the LSU 35 where the Tigers' defense stiffened, forcing a field goal attempt. Auburn kicker Anders Carlson missed from 52 yards out with 12:57 left in the game, keeping the score at 21-13.
Once again both teams traded punts setting up a LSU drive that began at their own 29 yard line with 8:30 left on the clock. It took the Tigers one play and twelve seconds to score as Joe Burrow hit a wide open Derrick Dillon who raced down the far sidelines for a 71 yard touchdown. LSU went for the two conversion hoping to tie the game at 21, but failed as Auburn held a 21-19 lead with 8:18 remaining.
The LSU defense stood tall on the next possession forcing an Auburn three-and-out. Jonathan Giles would fair catch Arryn Siposs' 46 yard punt, setting up the LSU offense with a 1st and ten at their own 24 yard line with only 5:38 left in the contest.
Two huge pass interference calls helped the Tigers on their final drive. The first came on a 3rd and 11 from the LSU 23, giving the Tigers a 1st down at their 38 yard line. Next the LSU offense faced a 4th and seven at the Auburn 48. Joe Burrow made a fantastic throw to Stephen Sullivan for nine yards to keep the drive alive. The second pass interference call came two plays later, moving the ball to the Auburn 24 with only 1:14 left. The Tigers then ran the ball three straight times with Nick Brossette to keep the ball in the middle of the field. With it 4th and ten at the Auburn 24 yard line, LSU called a timeout with two seconds left on the clock. Cole Tracy kicked the game winning 42 yard field goal on the game's final play for a 22-21 LSU victory.
LSU celebrated on the field in Jordan-Hare as they carried Cole Tracy off the field. It was simply another great game in the LSU vs. Auburn series and another Epic LSU Football Moment.....
Photos Below By: Terrill Weil
Photos Below By: Robert Stewart