Auburn Football: Grading the Tigers' 24-17 Win Over LSU

Nathan Deal@@NateDawgAUCorrespondent IOctober 24, 2010

AUBURN, AL - OCTOBER 23:  Quarterback Cameron Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers huddles the offense against the LSU Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images


That was the score of the last time the Auburn Tigers took the field last Saturday. 65-43.

Yesterday, a "defensive stalemate" broke out...a stalemate in which Auburn ran for 440 yards and had 526 total yards on offense.

No. 4 Auburn (who will likely move into the top two) defeated No. 6 LSU, 24-17, in Gene Chizik's biggest win as a head coach.

No team in the land made a bigger BCS case than the Auburn Tigers (outside of potentially Missouri...NAH.).

Here I hand out grades for the offense, defense, special teams, coaching and...gulp...officiating.


Offense: A

440 rushing yards. 526 total yards. 25 first downs. All against the nation's third-best statistical defense. The offense struggled at some points, but in the end it was unstoppable. Cam Newton once again had over 300 yards of offense by himself. If they can bully LSU around like they did, there might not be a defense in America that can stop Newton. Correction: There ISN'T a defense in the nation that can stop Newton.


Defense: A+

The best performance under Ted Roof since his far. 243 yards, 128 passing and 115 rushing. LSU had three points before a TD with 15 seconds left in the half, where Darren Bates was very close to making a tackle to keep them out. LSU had THREE first downs after halftime, despite having good field position most of the second half. LSU's only other score was on a halfback pass. Nick Fairley had 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. When did Nebraska's Suh regain eligibility and transfer to Auburn? That's sure what Fairley is looking like right now. The defense proved to the nation that they are not as bad as people think...


Special Teams: C+

Patrick Peterson didn't have any huge returns, but LSU definitely won the special teams battle. Their punter was outstanding, putting Auburn's offense in dangerous territory most of the second half. Wes Byrum missed a field goal, Detruce McNeal and Craig Sanders did not record a tackle on kickoff coverage and Auburn had no big kickoff returns outside of Demond Washington's nice return to start the game. Nothing special here.


Coaching: A+

Ted Roof coached a great game, as did Gus Malzahn. Jeff Grimes once again had his offensive line ready to play. Gene Chizik picked up a victory over the No. 6 team in America. No complaints here!


Officiating: D-

Anyone who watched the game knows these refs were awful. They missed a lot of "block in the back" calls against LSU. They incorrectly spotted a Kodi Burns catch at the 1-yard line instead of about the 8-yard line, where he took a hit and was driven backwards. There were bad spots, blown calls, and once again Auburn was called for the dumbest penalties. Does the SEC have a good crew? I want to know, is there a good crew in this conference? Suggestion to the SEC: use Sun Belt referees. They are consistent.


Overall: A

A win over the No. 6 team in the land to advance to 8-0 and 5-0 in the SEC. Cam Newton strengthened his Heisman candidacy. Thanks to Missouri, Auburn now controls their own destiny with this win. A great day to be an Auburn Tiger!