LSU Proves It's the SEC's Most Complete Team in Win Over Auburn

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterSeptember 22, 2013

Look out, Alabama. You have company at the top of the SEC.

LSU's hot start to the 2013 season continued on Saturday night in Baton Rouge, La., as the Tigers looked strong in a 35-21 win over SEC West foe Auburn inside rain-soaked Tiger Stadium.

The Tigers rolled up 456 yards, with running back Jeremy Hill solidifying his spot atop the depth chart with a career high in rushing yards (183) and tying his all-time mark for rushing touchdowns (three). Quarterback Zach Mettenberger balanced out the attack by passing for 229 yards and a touchdown in the win.

LSU QB Zach Mettenberger
LSU QB Zach MettenbergerChris Graythen/Getty Images

But more importantly, LSU continued to solidify itself as the primary contender to Alabama's throne. If we're judging teams based on their 2013 resumes, LSU is the SEC's most complete team.


The Tigers have successfully answered all of their offseason questions.

The passing game is in good hands. Mettenberger has developed a rhythm with wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, and new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron's play-calling is playing to the strengths of his personnel. Mettenberger has that big arm, and showed it on Saturday night averaging 10.4 yards per attempt.

LSU head coach Les Miles
LSU head coach Les MilesStacy Revere/Getty Images

The running game is again in good hands. Hill is back and seemingly better than ever. Behind him, Cameron and head coach Les Miles know that they have plenty of insurance with Kenny Hilliard, Alfred Blue and Terrence Magee.

Defensively, LSU was solid despite the 437 yards given up. Defensive coordinator John Chavis' crew held Auburn to just 119 yards in the first half and limited the impact of dual-threat quarterback Nick Marshall.

Sure, the Tigers let their guard down in the second half and allowed Auburn to have a glimmer of hope. That happens from time to time. But LSU came out with a plan and executed its plan, which was a big part in the Tigers building a big early lead. 

LSU RB Jeremy Hill
LSU RB Jeremy HillDerick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

Putting a game into cruise control is quite a bit different than lingering execution issues, which are exactly what exist around the rest of the SEC.

Alabama hasn't played a complete game yet and has quite a few lingering questions to answer.

The Crimson Tide's rebuilt offensive line looked horrendous in the opener, the secondary was torched in the win over Texas A&M and communication on offense was a big issue in their win over Colorado State on Saturday night, according to's Michael Casagrande

Problems keep popping up for the Tide, and if this keeps up, it's going to cost them.

Elsewhere, Texas A&M (defense), South Carolina (secondary), Georgia (consistent defense) and Florida (passing game) all have losses and have various issues to work out before being considered elite.

LSU doesn't anymore.

Does that mean the Tigers should be considered the best team in the country?

That's a loaded question, because different people vote in different ways, and Alabama has certainly earned the benefit of the doubt based on its proven track record of filling roster holes and winning big games.

But it's far from a complete team at this point.

LSU is, and as a result, has solidified itself as the primary contender to the Crimson Tide's throne.