HOW THEY SCORED
Score by quarters
LSU 9 0 3 0 — 12
Auburn 7 3 0 0 — 10
LSU: Sam Montgomery tackles Tre Mason in the Auburn end zone for a safety at 8:21 (Drew Alleman kick). DRIVE: None. KEY PLAYS: Zach Mettenberger fumbles a snap and Jeffrey Whitaker recovers for Auburn at its own 3. False start on Patrick Robinson backs up Auburn to its 1. LSU 2, AU 0.
LSU: Michael Ford 1 run at 4:18 (Alleman kick). DRIVE: 9 plays, 59 yards, 4:03. KEY PLAYS: On third-and-3, Spencer Ware 11 pass from Mettenberger gives LSU a first down at the AU 41. On third-and-5, Chase Clement 6 pass from Mettenberger gives LSU a first down at the AU 2. LSU 9, AU 0.
AU: Onterio McCalebb 4 run at 0:00 (Cody Parkey kick). DRIVE: 3-26-1:02. KEY PLAYS: Angelo Blackson recovers Mettenberger fumble at the LSU 26. After 4 loss on first down, Tre Mason 26 run to the 4. LSU 9, AU 7.
AU: Parkey 40 field goal at 1:21. DRIVE: 9-42-5:05. KEY PLAYS: On third-and-9, Emory Blake 22 pass from Kiehl Frazier gives Auburn first down at the LSU 29. On third-and-4 at the 23, McCalebb 0 pass from Frazier leads to the field goal. AU 10, LSU 9.
LSU: Alleman 30 field goal at 5:26. DRIVE: 7-35-3:43. KEY PLAYS: Jarvis Landry recovers Quan Bray’s fumble on a punt return at the AU 48. Kadron Boone 29 pass from Mettenberger yields a first down at the 22. On third-and-2 at the 14, Dee Ford and Jake Holland stop Kenny Hilliard for a 1-yard gain, leading to the field goal. LSU 12, AU 10.
FINAL SCORE: LSU 12, Auburn 10.
RECORDS: LSU 4-0, 1-0 SEC. Auburn 1-3, 0-2 SEC.
ä LSU DEFENSE: On a night when the Tigers offense was struggling and often times shooting itself in the foot, the LSU defense came through. LSU held Auburn scoreless in the second half. They also dominated the line of scrimmage and stopped Auburn from running outside. They even scored a safety, which was the difference in the game.
ä JARVIS LANDRY: Landry, a sophomore receiver who played at Lutcher High School, saved LSU’s undefeated season in the third quarter when he raced down field and recovered a fumbled punt by Auburn’s Quan Bray at the Auburn 48. The fumble recovery led to Drew Alleman’s game-winning 30-yard field goal.
ä LES MILES: With LSU driving late in the game and needing a first down to run more time off the clock, Miles and his coaching staff dialed up a creative gem. On third and four at its 33 with three minutes left, LSU called a throw-back screen. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger rolled right and threw back to running back Spencer Ware, who raced 33 yards for a first down. The play caught Auburn completely off guard.
ä LSU COMPOSURE: Fumbles, penalties and a focus, all three were on display on Saturday. The two fumbles in the first half led to seven Auburn points. Those points gave Auburn confidence and got its crowd into the game, which made things tougher for the team. Because of the early confidence boost, Auburn played LSU tough for three quarters and almost pulled off one of the upsets of the season. Of course, LSU might have had better composure in this game if it didn’t play powerhouses like North Texas and Idaho for nonconference games.
ä ZACK METTENBERGER: Mettenberger has three red zone turnovers in four games this season. His fumble on LSU’s first drive of the game stopped the team from getting a sure field goal, Although the defense bailed him out with a safety. He has to be able to cut down on the mistakes when LSU is in scoring position or it could really be costly against better teams like Florida and Alabama.
ä LSU PENALTIES: LSU had nine penalties for 80 yards, including some penalties on special teams which took away field position and made things tougher for its struggling offense.
Pierce W. Huff
ä OK, so Auburn quarterback Kiehl Frazier won’t make anybody get him confused with Cam Newton when he wears his uniform, but LSU did a decent job of keeping him under wraps. Frazier completed 13 of 22 passes for 97 yards and two interceptions and was sacked four times. LSU held Auburn to 183 yards.
LSU’S STABLE OF RUNNING BACKS
ä Despite Alfred Blue not playing because of an injury, LSU rushed for 203 yards on 44 attempts for an average of 4.1 yards per carry. Spencer Ware rushed for 95 yards on 16 carries. Michael Ford rushed for 42 yards and one touchdown on eight carries. Kenny Hilliard rushed for 40 yards on 10 carries. This game was proof that LSU probably has the deepest group of running backs of any team in the nation.
FINDING A WAY
ä It wasn’t pretty. In fact, a lot of times it was downright ugly. Still, No. 2 LSU did what good teams do. It found a way to win despite not playing its best. Thanks to a lack of composure, which led to some turnovers and costly penalties, LSU found itself in a good, old-fashioned Southeastern Conference Saturday night fight in Jordan-Hare. But think about how badly things would be if LSU lost this game. Instead, it won and learn some lessons, which should help for games later this season against Florida and Alabama.
“3rd turnover by Mettenberger in the red zone in 4 games after INTs vs North Texas, Idaho. A Disturbing trend. #LSU”
Advocate LSU sportswriter
“Spencer Ware is back, ladies and gentlemen. #LSU”
Advocate LSU sportswriter.
“So much for all that early-game #Auburn energy.”
assistant sports editor
“Is Usain Bolt wearing a No. 8 #LSU jersey?”
“LIVE BLOG: The recipe is clear: Get a few breaks, take advantage. #Auburn did that in first quarter vs. No. 2 LSU.”
Ryan Wood @AU Blog. Wood is the Auburn beat writer for the Opelika-Auburn News.
“Eric Reid is a free safety, but he’s not built like a free safety. More like ... a road grater with legs and shoulder pads.”
Aaron Brenner@wareagleextra. Brenner covers Auburn for the Columbus (Ga.)
“Auburn takes a 10-9 lead over #LSU into halftime. Tigers from the Plains outplaying Tigers from the Bayou. It’s that simple.”
“Coming into game, #LSU led #SEC in offensive drive efficiency (20 scores in 36 drives; 55.6%). Tonight, 1 TD in 6 possessions vs. Auburn.”
Charles Bloom, @SECPRguy. Bloom is the head public relations guy for the SEC office.
Pierce W. Huff
Numbers to know
2 Number of wins for LSU at Auburn since 2000, including Saturday’s victory.
2-12 Auburn’s mark on third-down conversions Saturday.
3 Number of turnovers in the red zone this season by LSU QB Zach Mettenberger
48-4 LSU coach Les Miles record against unranked teams.
THREE AND OUT
What we learned
Zach Mettenberger is still a work in progress. For the second straight game his turnovers turned momentum 180 degrees. Still, he showed heart, facing Auburn’s pass rush and scrambling for tough yards, and throwing that 33-yard bootleg to Spencer Ware that kept the ball in LSU’s hands late.
Defensive ends and punters. LSU’s Sam Montgomery and Auburn’s Lemonier couldn’t be blocked all night. Punters Brad Wing and Steven Clark lived up to hype with tons of huge punts, though both hit poor ones late in the game that ended up not costing their teams.
There will be plenty of second-guessing about LSU’s win and speculation about where the Tigers should be ranked, and of course whether LSU is good enough to beat Alabama. But it’s still tough to win on the road in the SEC. LSU has one game left to work out the kinks before a tougher test in two weeks at Florida.