AUBURN, Ala. — Another game, another ejection for targeting against an LSU defensive player.
LSU free safety John Battle was ejected early in the fourth quarter of his team's 22-21 upset victory over Auburn. Because the play occurred in the second half, Battle will be forced to sit out the first half of LSU's home game next Saturday against Louisiana Tech (6 p.m., ESPN2 or ESPNU).
It is the second straight week an LSU defender has been ejected for targeting. Linebacker Jacob Phillips was the flagged in the first half of LSU's 31-0 victory over Southeastern Louisiana on Sept. 8.
Phillips was allowed to play the entire game against Auburn because his penalty occurred in the first half.
When LSU's Cole Tracy was wide right on a 53-yard field-goal attempt late in the first quarter, it was the first missed kick of the season for the Tigers.
Tracy, a grad transfer from Assumption College, had made his first 13 kicks — connecting on five field-goal attempts and eight extra-point tries, including a PAT in the first quarter Saturday.
More than redeemed himself, of course. He came back to make a 33-yarder in the second quarter and a 27-yarder in the third and, of course, the game-winning 42-yarder as time expired.
LSU left guard Garrett Brumfield left the game midway through the second quarter after Auburn linebacker Deshaun Davis accidentally cut Brumfield's legs out from under him at the end of a running play.
Brumfield was replaced by freshman Chasen Hines, who was recruited as a defensive lineman but was moved to offense for the start of preseason camp. Brumfield return to the game mid-drive late in the third quarter.
Buck linebacker Ray Thornton suffered an undisclosed injury in the first half and did not return, and cornerback Kristian Fulton appeared to injure his right shoulder late in the third quarter and didn't return.
Sophomore Todd Harris, the back-up to starting free safety Battle, was fully dressed during pre-game warmups after leaving the Miami game with an undisclosed injury and not playing against Southeastern.
There was no sign of sophomore safety Eric Monroe, tight end Thaddeus Moss and junior right tackle Adrian Magee, who have each missed at least parts of the past two games with undisclosed injuries.
Freshman running back Tae Provens was also not there. Southeastern Conference teams can only dress 70 players on the road.
Sophomore Austin Deculus warmed up with the first-team offense as the starting right tackle. Coach Ed Orgeron said Thursday night that he would start over junior-college transfer Badara Traore.
Wide receivers Jonathan Giles, Justin Jefferson and cornerback Jontre Kirklin were practicing returning punts. Only Giles, a Texas Tech transfer, has returned punts this season. Giles has returned two punts for 42 yards, with a long of 22 against Miami.
After signing a new seven-year, $49 million contract earlier this year, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn apparently feels he can afford to be a little magnanimous.
Make that a lot magnanimous.
ESPN reported that Malzahn have pledged a $2 million donation towards the construction of a new football operations building for the program.
Auburn came through with a new deal for Malzahn after Arkansas reportedly expressed interest in bringing him back to his home state to coach the Razorbacks. Malzahn is 47-23 in six seasons at Auburn after Saturday’s game.
Orgeron's career record is now 34-33. He was 10-25 at Ole Miss (2005-07), 6-2 as interim coach at USC in 2013 and 18-6 at LSU since taking over as interim coach in 2016 after LSU lost at Auburn. ... Saturday was LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger's 60th birthday. Ensminger coached at Auburn from 2003-08. ... LSU now leads the Auburn series 30-22-1. … It was 93 degrees shortly before kickoff at Auburn, with a heat index of 101.
Advocate sportswriters Brooks Kubena, Sheldon Mickles and Scott Rabalais contributed to this report.