It took a quarter for the Auburn Tigers to get going, but once they finally heated up there was absolutely no looking back. By the time the blue moon came peeking over the horizon on this Halloween evening, Auburn had thoroughly dismantled the defending national champions—the LSU Tigers. The defense looked like the dominating defense Auburn fans have come to expect under Kevin Steele, and Bo Nix totaled 4 touchdowns, while throwing for 300 yards and rushing for another 81. When the final whistle blew, the orange and blue Tigers secured the largest margin of victory in this storied rivalry with their 48-11 win.
After trading punts throughout the first quarter, Auburn seemed poised to strike first early in the second quarter. However, Derek Stingley forced a Seth Williams fumble at the one yard line and the ball trickled out of bounds in the end zone for a touchback. On the very next drive, Nehemiah Pritchett picked off an errant pass from T.J. Finley and returned the ball to the 5 yard line. Originally, the play was called a pick-6, however, after the review it was determined Pritchett stepped out at the 5 prior to diving to the pylon. The Auburn offense immediately capitalized on the turnover with a TD pass from Nix to Eli Stove. Later in the second quarter, the Auburn defense came up with another huge play when Derick Hall got to T.J. Finley for a strip sack. Christian Tutt scooped up the loose ball and returned it 20 yards for his first career touchdown. With less then five minutes to play, LSU backed Auburn up at the one yard line. Auburn preceded to march 99 yards in eight plays and went up 21-0 when Nix found a wide open Ze’Vian Capers from nine yards out. Coach Gus Malzahn pointed to that drive as being key in opening up the game for Auburn. LSU did manage a 51 yard field goal on the final play of the first half.
In the third quarter, the floodgates absolutely opened up. Auburn scored on their first four drives after halftime, at which point, with Auburn up 48-3, the Tigers put the backups in. Nix finished the game as Auburn’s leading rusher taking 11 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown. Through the air, Nix finished 18/24 for 300 yards and three touchdowns. That included a 91 yard strike to Anthony Schwartz on Nix’s final play of the game. Schwartz finished the game with four catches for 123 yards and the touchdown. Freshman Tank Bigsby finished with 71 yards and two touchdowns, ending his streak of three straight games eclipsing the century mark. As a team, Auburn rushed for 206 yards, marking their fourth straight game with 200 plus yards on the ground.
It was a vintage Kevin Steele performance on defense. Aside from the 51 yard field goal on the last play of the first half, LSU’s offense could do nothing against the starting Auburn defense. The only Bayou Bengal touchdown came in the fourth quarter when Auburn had begun to empty the bench and give their young backups invaluable live SEC reps. Auburn harassed true freshman quarterback T.J. Finley throughout the game, and also harassed fellow freshman Max Johnson when he entered the game in the second half. Myles Brennan, LSU’s regular starting quarterback, missed his second straight game due to injury. Auburn forced Finley into three turnovers—interceptions by Pritchett and Big Kat Bryant, and the scoop and score by Christian Tutt. Auburn finished with four sacks, two by Hall, and seven tackles for loss. On the day, LSU only managed 32 rushing yards on 27 carries, an average of 1.2 yards a carry. For the second straight week Auburn shutdown one of the SEC’s top wide receivers, limiting Terrance Marshall to four catches for 28 yards and no touchdowns. Of LSU’s 347 total yards of offense 121 came on the final two drives in garbage time. Another key stat in the game was penalties as Auburn only accrued three penalties for 13 yards on the afternoon.
Auburn now enters their bye week with a 4-2 record and riding the momentum of this big win. Auburn is next in action in two weeks when they travel to Starkville to take on Mississippi State.
The Auburn baseball team (12-16, 1-11 SEC) was swept this weekend at home by top five opponent Mississippi State. Auburn has now faced three top five opponents in the first four weeks of conference play.