1. The Harris Effect
Put yourself in LSU freshman quarterback Brandon Harris’ shoes: You’re 18, you were playing in high school nine months ago and you’ve been nothing but a reserve for the first month of the season; and then — boom — you’re a starter for a nationally televised game at the reigning Southeastern Conference champion. Tough, right? Harris has the skills — an accurate, powerful arm — and has the smarts. He’s got good pocket presence and solid decision making, but can he handle an SEC road environment? Who the heck knows?
2. Up the gut
If Auburn is smart, it’ll run right at LSU, targeting a weak defensive tackle and middle linebacker position just like Mississippi State did. The Bulldogs spread out LSU and ran right up the gut for more than 300 yards. Auburn runs a similar system. Can LSU handle the pounding up the middle? Coach Les Miles says LSU has gotten stronger up the gut, but we won’t know for sure until Saturday night. Christian LaCouture, freshman Davon Godchaux, Lewis Neal and Quentin Thomas need to stand their ground Saturday.
That’s what Auburn fans like to chant when receiver Duke Williams makes a big catch or scores a touchdown. Williams, a LaPlace native, was the No. 1 junior college receiver in the nation last season. He de-committed from LSU and eventually signed with Auburn. Asked about Williams earlier this week, Miles said “those Louisiana guys enjoy staying home most of the time.” Williams didn’t. He’s got 23 catches, 14 more than the next-best AU receiver. Tre’Davious White and the LSU secondary need to swarm this guy.
4. Fournette Show
LSU freshman running back Leonard Fournette has shown massive improvement from the season-opening win over Wisconsin to now. The New Orleans native says the game is beginning to slow down for him and that he’s become more patient. That’s all obvious on film. Fournette is finding the cutback lanes, following his blockers and slipping through holes. He’ll need to continue that on the Plains. Auburn’s offense is a potent bunch, and the best way to defend them might be to keep them off the field.