Coming into a pivotal matchup this Saturday against LSU in Death Valley, number 9 Auburn has its work cut out for them. Number 2 ranked LSU is undefeated so far this season, most recently beating Mississippi State 36 to 13 in Starkville, and beating Florida in Death Valley the week before, who was ranked 7th at the time after an early game shoot out with the Gators. The Tigers were able to pull away late off the arm of senior quarterback and Heisman hopeful Joe Burrows who tossed 3 touchdowns and 293 yards on a 88% completion percentage. LSU's closest match this season coming against Sam Ehlinger and the Texas Longhorns narrowly winning in a nail-biter with a final score of 45-38, tied for most points allowed by them this season, second coming in the 66-38 win over Vanderbilt. So far this season Burrows has had a career year tossing 29 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions as part of the highest scoring offense in the SEC with 50 points per game. 18 of Burrows 29 touchdowns have come from wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase, both of whom averaging over 15 yards per reception with Jefferson at 15.8 and Chase at 17.9. Both receivers will be real deep threats against the Auburn secondary while Clyde Edwards-Helaire will look to go against the Auburn front seven. Edwards-Helaire is averaging 6 yards per carry with a total of 547 yards and 7 touchdowns on 89 carries.
On the other end of the ball the LSU defense has totaled 17 sacks and 8 interceptions, led by players such as freshman defensive back Derek Stingley Jr. who leads the team in interceptions with 3 overall, and linebacker Jacob Phillips who has 52 tackles, 14 more than the second most on the team. The LSU secondary, which has an average height of 6.05 feet for its starting members, has allowed an average of 107.3 yards per game for receivers 6 foot 4 and above, Auburn having two receivers close to that mark with Sal Cannela coming in at 6 foot 5 and Seth Williams at 6 foot 3. Overall, they are only allowing 93.3 rushing yards per game and 226 yards per game through the air so far this season. Against ranked teams LSU has allowed 33 points per game in two contests, and scored 43.5 points per game in those games.
Alongside the Fighting Tigers, Auburn must face the daunting site of Death Valley, where the Auburn Tigers have not won since 1999 in Tommy Tuberville’s first season coaching. Auburn is currently 0-3 in Death Valley under Gus and 2-4 overall since he was hired. LSU is averaging 51 points at home and they look to keep that going behind LSU’s surging home offense, Burrows having 15 touchdowns to only 2 interceptions with a 217.4 QBR in 4 home games, Edwards-Helaire with 301 yards and 5 touchdowns and Jefferson with 489 yards and 4 touchdowns at home. In the past two seasons at home LSU is 10-1 with their only loss coming in 2018 to top ranked Alabama in a 29-0 routing. Auburn looks to take on the Tigers on their home turf and leave with Baton Rouge with a win.