Summer Scouting is a daily weekday post analyzing LSU football’s 12 opponents for the 2015 season. From McNeese State (June 29) to Texas A&M (July 11), we’ll give you an early scouting report on the one dozen teams on LSU’s schedule.
When: 2:30 p.m., Sept. 19
Where: Tiger Stadium
Early spread: LSU -4
Who’s before and after: at Mississippi State and at Syracuse
Auburn at a glance
Coach (year): Gus Malzahn (3rd)
2014 record: 8-5 (4-4, t4th in SEC West)
2014 postseason: Lost in Outback Bowl, 34-31 (OT) to Wisconsin
Returning starters: 13 (5 offense, 8 defense)
Preseason prediction: 4th nationally, 2nd SEC West
Jeremy Johnson’s time and a switch of philosophy: The Nick Marshall Era in Auburn is over, and the highly anticipated Jeremy Johnson Era will begin this season in an offense that could show some new things. Johnson, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound junior and a top 15-ranked QB nationally in the 2013 class, has a better and stronger arm than Marshall. AU’s run-heavy zone read attack might see a few more doses of pass this year with Johnson running things.
WR D’haquille Williams: Auburn returns its best receiver in 2014 in the 6-2, 225-pound LaPlace native. Williams had more receiving yards (730), more receiving touchdowns (5) and more catches (45) than all of Auburn’s receivers. He offers a big target for new QB Johnson. Williams and Johnson began building chemistry during the spring. They connected for a 36-yard touchdown in the spring game.
Defensive tackle: Like LSU is thin at linebacker, Auburn is thin at defensive tackle. AU has just five DTs on scholarship, according to this story from AL.com. Auburn lost four of its five rotating defensive tackles from last season, including Gabe Wright, Angelo Blackson, Ben Bradley and Jeff Whitaker. That trio combined for 15 tackles for loss and four sacks in 2014. Montravius Adams is the lone returner in coach Rodney Garner’s rotation. Dontavius Russell, a four star prospect from Georgia, seems to have the edge in replacing one of the rotation guys.
Previous posts and coming posts
Monday: McNeese State
Tuesday: Mississippi State
Friday: Eastern Michigan
Saturday: South Carolina
Tuesday: Western Kentucky
Friday: Ole Miss
Saturday: Texas A&M