In what was supposed to be a one sided affair, the Tigers of Auburn gave the Tigers of LSU all they wanted and then some Saturday night.
Auburn began the football game with three passes resulting in three incompletions and a punt. LSU took the ball from its own 42 yard line and marched all the way to inside the Auburn five yard line overpowering the Auburn defense all the way down the field. “You kick off, we ram it down your throats. We kick off, take it from you then ram it down your throats.” Kevin O’Shea anyone?
The Tigers of LSU were facing a third down and one from the Auburn two yard line when quarterback Zach Mettenber, who was playing in his first SEC road contest as the LSU starting quarterback, fumbled the snap from center. The ball would be recovered by Auburn and a sign of things to come with LSU struggling in short yardage situations against what was supposed to be an undermanned Auburn defensive front seven.
After a false-start by Auburn, a rushing attempt to the outside resulted in a negative play and a Safety for the LSU defense. Auburn would kick to LSU who would again methodically move the ball to the Auburn two yard line. This time they would punch it in when Michael Ford took a pitch to the left side and out ran the Auburn defense to the corner for the Touchdown.
After another three and out from the Auburn offense and a punt giving the ball back to LSU at its 26 yard line, the game was starting out just how most thought it would go. With LSU jumping out to a quick, early lead in dominating fashion. The rout looked like it was on.
Then standout defensive end, Cory Lemonier of Auburn, beat Josh Dworaczyk and got to Mettenberger forcing a fumble and recovery by Auburn at the LSU 26.
It took Auburn three plays to punch it in from there and instead of a rout, it was game on.
The Auburn team and crowd were sent into a frenzy of belief and hope that they could pull the upset over the number two ranked team in the nation.
The second quarter was a defensive struggle for both with neither team being able to put any points on the board until Auburn broke through connecting on a 40 yard field goal with less than two minutes to go in the half.
The second half would also be a defensive struggle with the only points coming from LSU kicker Drew Alleman when he connected on a 31 yard field goal attempt with five minutes left in the third quarter.
That would be the end of the scoring for the night as both teams struggled to sustain drives for the rest of the game.
LSU cornerback Tharold Simon ended Auburn’s desperate attempt to come back in the game when he picked off Auburn quarterback Kiehl Frazier to seal a 12-10 victory.
LSU dominated from a statistical standpoint in the game. Out gaining Auburn 351 total yards to 183. The LSU defense held Auburn to just 2-12 conversion rate on third down.
This was not a pretty game by any stretch of the imagination. However, it was a victory and just as the old saying goes, you are what your record says you are. And right now the LSU record says it is 4-0, 1-0.