LSU Football: Winners and Losers from Tigers' Win vs. Auburn
In a matchup that put two top 25 teams against each other, the LSU Tigers turned this into a blowout by the time halftime rolled around.
LSU (8-0, 5-0 SEC) started out slowly, but towards the end of the first half really started to blow the lid off this matchup. Les Miles and crew are steam rolling through everyone and now have their sights set on their epic meeting with Alabama in two weeks.
Auburn fell to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the SEC with this dismantling on Saturday. They struggled on both sides of the ball and were just outclassed on the field against the superior LSU Tigers.
Lets take a second and look at some of the winners and losers from this blowout in Baton Rouge.
Winner: Jarret Lee
Jarrett Lee has been as good as anyone could have ever hoped so far this year, and he continued that play this week against the Auburn Tigers.
His numbers wont jump off the page, 14-of-20 for 165 yards and two scores, but his efficiency is exactly what the team needs. He took over this job on short notice coming into the year and has done exactly what has been asked.
For now he has been named the starter moving forward, but the one concern for this team is their lack of firepower on offense thus far this year. If they find themselves in a tough spot in tough upcoming games against Alabama or Arkansas, they may turn to highly touted Jordan Jefferson if more points or big plays are needed from this offense. So far they haven't needed that since they have been smashing everyone in their path, but that may be something to watch for.
Let's stick to the positives. Lee has been great for the Tigers, he is good enough to keep defenses honest and does not turn the ball over (only one interception on the year). With the defense and running game as good as the Tigers is this year that may be all they need.
Loser: Tyron Matheiu, Spencer Ware and Tharold Simon
When the Tigers took the field on Saturday they were down three key players, Tyron Matheiu, Spencer Ware and Tharold Simon.
This was big news during the week and is something pretty much all college football fans were aware of. The reason they were suspended was because of a reported failed drug test. It turned out the team did not need their services this week since the backups stepped up and played well, but these are players they will need if they hope to make a run at the BCS title game.
Winner: Les Miles
Les Miles has been able to lead this team to victory this season even with a variety of off the field issues that have rocked his program. This week was no different, and he kept his Tigers just chuggin' along while also looking impressive along the way.
He dealt with the suspensions of three key players masterfully. He took swift action and sat them out this week against Auburn. He dealt with it properly and moved on without them for the week. This situation was similar to the way he handled Jordan Jefferson in the preseason and heading into the season.
He seems to be having his way with recruiting and is entering the level of coaching where there is no rebuilding, it is just reloading. They have lost key players at key positions and just plugged in new guys all season. You almost couldn't even tell they were not at full strength Saturday.
Winner: LSU's Kick Coverage Team
This was a topic that was all over Twitter. Everyone was tweeting about the assault that Auburn return men were taking in this game.
The highlight of the game is in the video to the left. It is when Jarvis Landry brought the wood on special teams and made everyone watching thankful they were sitting on their couches and not on the receiving end of this hit.
Winner: Kenny Hillard
Hillard was the primary beneficiary of Ware being suspended for this game. Hillard had two trips to the end zone Saturday while finishing with 65 yards on just 10 carries. This was more than enough from him in a game they won so handily.
Sure, he is not about to take Spencer Ware's spot in the lineup once he returns from suspension, but it never hurts to have another solid back in the stable waiting for some action. The young freshman showed a lot of promise and you could see him get a little more run here moving forward.
Loser: Auburn's Offensive Line
It often comes down to one statistic when looking at offensive line play and that is the number of sacks they give up in the course of a game. Auburn gave up six on Saturday.
The battle of the trenches was a one sided affair that left Auburn's Clint Moseley, who was making his first career start, on his back a lot throughout the course of the game. After the game Auburn coach Gene Chizik was asked about Moseley's performance and he mentioned how it was impossible to grade his performance because of the line's play.
It is back to the drawing board for Chizik and his offensive line.
Winner: Reuben Randle
In a game that appeared like it was going to be a close one heading into halftime, Rueben Randle stole the show and blew it open to an 18 point lead for LSU heading into the half.
Randle scored two long touchdowns of over 40 yards in the final five minutes of the first half from two different Tiger quarterbacks that shut the door on Auburn. He first took a 42 yarder from Jordan Jefferson in for a score then followed it with a 46 yard score from starter Jarrett Lee.
As superior as LSU looked by the end of the game, it was Randle who seemed to give his team a jump start they needed to get this game turned into the laugher it was. Randle is having a great year thus far. This was his third game of over 100 yards, and in a run first offense like LSU, that is impressive.
Loser: Clint Moseley
As I mentioned in an earlier slide, Clint Moseley was not given much of a chance in his trip to Baton Rouge. He was 12-for-20 for 145 yards and an interception. He was sacked six times and just could not get much of anything going on offense.
Coach Chizik said he was proud of the way Moseley played considering his surroundings, but going up against the LSU defense in his first start along with not having leading receiver Emory Blake just made for bad spot this week for Moselely.
Winner: LSU Defensive Coordinator John Chavis
LSU's defense was outstanding as usual this week. They held Auburn to 248 yards, the lowest anyone has held them to all season. The defense also allowed a meager 2.6 yards per carry to Auburn and stud running back Jonathon Dwyer, that was just hardly half of the 4.8 yards per carry the LSU offense put up.
The defensive unit simply dismantled Auburn's offense. This was a showcase in just how superior LSU is to teams that line up against them. Their upcoming matchup against Alabama truly is going to be putting the two best defenses in the country against each other.