Auburn-LSU: Southern Hospitality in Baton Rouge

Ryan BlanchfieldAnalyst IOctober 17, 2007

IconLast week, LSU experienced bluegrass heartache in Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, KY. 

After a triple-OT loss to Kentucky, the Tigers will only be hungrier. 

No. 18 Auburn, meanwhile, is rolling after back-to-back game-winning field goals from Wes Byrum against Florida and Arkansas.  

The LSU defense will have to regroup after surrendering 43 points to the Wildcats. The last time LSU gave up that many points was Oct. 2, 2004, against Georgia.  

The Tigers recently had three defensive players named to the midseason All-America team: DL Glenn Dorsey, OLB Ali Highsmith, and SS Craig Steltz.

Auburn's offense is more one-dimensional than that of the Wildcats. Auburn hasn't had much success throwing the ball, and Brandon Cox will have to step up if the visitors are too have any chance of winning in Baton Rouge.

That said, LSU will have to account for Auburn's RB trio of Ben Tate, Brad Lester (first game back from an academic suspension), and Mario Fannin.  

One of Auburn's keys to success is holding their opponent under 20 points, meaning that LSU's offense must stay in rhythm and put points on the board.

LSU should get a boost from WR Early Doucet, who's expected to return after missing four weeks with a groin injury. He and the QB tandem of Matt Flynn and Ryan Perriloux will need to develop a rapport in a hurry to help LSU move the ball through the air.

WRs Brandon LaFell, Demetrius Byrd, and TE Richard Dickson will aid in that effort.

LSU incorporated yet another new face in the running game last week—Charles Scott.  The Tigers now have four viable running backs: Jacob Hester, Keiland Williams, Scott, and redshirt freshman Richard Murphy.Icon

LSU Keys to Victory

1) Protect Matt Flynn. He needs enough time to make things happen.

2) Use Early Doucet wisely. If you think he's ready, throw to him often—and if you don't think he's ready, use him as a decoy.

3) Get the offense into a rhythm.  Auburn struggles in high-scoring games.

Auburn Keys to Victory 

1) Establish the passing game, which hasn't been much of a factor so far.

2) Get talented RBs in the open field where they can make plays.

3) Have the secondary blanket Doucet while not leaving Brandon LaFell open. Virginia Tech failed to cover LaFell, who had seven catches for 125 yards against the Hokies.