lsuslufootball1191.090918 bf

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) runs for the end zone to score during the first half of LSU's home opener against SLU in Tiger Stadium on Saturday Sept. 8, 2018, in Baton Rouge, La.

1. Pass or fail

LSU’s running game with Nick Brossette’s two 100-yard games has been surprisingly effective. But Auburn has a talented front seven that makes priority number one shutting down the run and usually accomplishes its goal. To win, LSU must take to the air. That means a great day from Joe Burrow throwing, LSU receivers holding onto the ball and a more imaginative play calling day from Steve Ensminger than was on display against Southeastern Louisiana.

2. Be special … again

LSU’s offense is inferior to Auburn’s. The defenses are a wash. To win the game, LSU must win in two key areas: special teams and turnovers. LSU has been stellar at kicking and punting, and it would not be surprising to see Cole Tracy called on to boot multiple field goals. As for turnovers, LSU is plus-5 through two games with zero turnovers committed. The Tigers need to stay clean and force critical Auburn mistakes.

3. In the zone

For all its well-chronicled offensive struggles, LSU is 8-for-8 scoring in the red zone, albeit with four touchdowns while settling for four field goals. Auburn, by comparison, is last in the SEC with 75 percent red zone efficiency (9 of 12, seven TDs, two FGs). Auburn would seem to be the more explosive offense, but LSU has to make its opportunities in close count every time while forcing Auburn into a couple of empty possessions.

4. Capture the flag

Jarrett Stidham is a very good quarterback, but the Auburn signal caller had a very off day in Baton Rouge in 2017, completing just 9 of 26 passes for 165 yards. LSU and Auburn are tied for first in the SEC with Vanderbilt with nine sacks each. LSU must do a better job of getting to Stidham, who has only been sacked twice, than Auburn does getting to Burrow, who has gone down four times.

Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter, @RabalaisAdv.​