OK, this time we mean it—it's Saturday Night...in Death Valley...
Well, a bit of normalcy finally returned to Baton Rouge this past Saturday Night. After having one game pushed up to an ungodly hour for college football and the next game postponed, the Tigers finally took the field on a Saturday night.
There was something that was different. While thousands of Louisiana residents are still trying to get things back to normal after Gustav, and some after Ike, Tiger Stadium wasn't as full as it usually is.
Even if the stadium wasn't its normal electric self, LSU still came out and gave their best effort. Some quick notes:
1) Losing MLB Darry Beckwith was just about the worst injury LSU could have sustained to an already thin and inexperienced group of linebackers. The defensive line still looks stout, and the secondary is improving. One thing not absent is players that fly to the ball and absolutely unload on whoever has the ball at the time.
2) The quarterbacks are still a work in progress. Neither one really outplays the other, and their cumulative stats after two games are eerily close. Their level of play could be higher, and much of their struggles can be attributed to still being green.
3) Charles Scott continues to prove that he should be the No. 1 back, and the offensive line has played quite well to this point.
4) LSU looks to have found a punt returner in Trindon Holliday. The diminutive spark plug was said to have trouble fielding punts when he arrived at LSU but showed no signs of that on Saturday when he took a punt to the house. Look for Auburn to keep the ball out of his hands.
How are they not No. 2 now???!!!
Notre Dame took the Wolverines to the woodshed this past weekend with a 35-17 win. But also of note, the first ever earthquake in Indiana was recorded. Scientists are not quite sure how a tremor that scored a 5.2 on the Richter scale occurred and may never know.
In other news, Charlie Weis, was clipped by a player from behind and tore his ACL and MCL. Weis was hit by a player who was blocked into him and then fell to the ground...
Wait a minute...
Another out of conference clunker...
Last year, the most anticipated out of conference matchup was the LSU/Virginia Tech early season showdown in Tiger Stadium. LSU dominated the Hokies and put on a clinic while doing so.
Fast forward to this year's out of conference mega showdown featuring the Buckeyes and Trojans, and the result was similar. Too much hype surrounds these matchups, and the actual game rarely lives up to it.
This week Georgia travels to Tempe to take on the Sun Devils. Lucky for us, ASU tipped their hand against UNLV this past weekend, and UGA struggled at South Carolina. Expectations are down a bit for this one, so if this game is even mildly entertaining, it will be a win for the fans who probably aren't expecting much.
A venue filled with Sun Devil girls and Georgia co-eds!? Someone have an extra plane ticket?????!
An Auburn offensive lineman chop-blocked my other sign…
Too bad I’m not going to Auburn—I found a great idea for an ESPN GameDay sign on this fabulous thing we call the “interweb.”
It’s a shame only the real college die-hards know the recent history of the LSU-Auburn series. It’s been a little crazy. There've been fires, earthquakes, cigars, magic, multiple missed field goals, leaping penalties, flags picked up, flags not thrown, crazy endings, and much, much more. You can read my take on the recent history here.
This is a great rivalry because of the healthy respect both teams hold for each other, and both sides know these teams go to war on the field. Both fan bases respect each other as well.
The matchup doesn’t get the pub it deserves thanks to scheduling gods who have this game played so early in the season. Well, thanks to Arizona State laying an egg against the Runnin’ Rebels, ESPN GameDay is now bringing its college football preview show to Auburn this week.
What they’ll get in return is probably one of the worst offensive matchups that one might see this season. Well, besides a 3-2 game that is.
While LSU’s running game is clicking, the passing game is inconsistent. And as good as Auburn looks on defense is about how bad they are on offense. I read today that Auburn’s D has held opposing offenses to three of 46 on third down conversions. That’s just sick.
LSU, whose defense most of the nation credits for the recent success, actually makes its hay on offensive third down conversions. LSU’s offense has been pretty spectacular on third down under Miles, and with inexperience at quarterback now, that performance probably won’t be duplicated—and neither will the overall success.
I won’t go into much depth of a prediction here, but I’m sure the game will hinge upon some kind of wackiness that will unfold against LSU’s favor. Third down will be important, but both teams are going to have trouble converting.
The real battle will be about special teams, field position, and turnovers. Scoring will be at a premium, and there will be highlight film-level hitting on both sides.
The home team hasn’t lost since 1999 in this series. The streak doesn’t stop here. Maybe we’ll improve on 3-2.
Auburn 13, LSU 12
Until next week, Geaux Tigers!!!