Monday, October 26, 2009

Auburn Game Notes

LSU put together their best performance of the year in completely dismantling Auburn 31-10.  This game was never in doubt as LSU dominated from start to finish.  The Tigers played their finest game of the season on both offense and defense.  We also saw two of LSU's star freshman make incredible individual plays. 

Auburn's defense loaded the box in order to stop LSU's running game, so LSU's offense countered with the passing game and came out firing.  And they never stopped.   Auburn's secondary simply couldn't handle Brandon Lafell and Terrance Toliver who combined for 15 receptions, 153 yards, and two touchdowns.  As well as they played, they dropped a few balls and could have been even better.  Reuben Randle made an amazing 31 yard catch down the sideline as well.  LSU's staff dialed up some shorter throws for Jordan Jefferson so that he could get rid of the ball faster, and it worked very well.  He enjoyed a career day with 242 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions.  Most of all, he looked comfortable.  LSU did a lot less of the "check with me" stuff at the line of scrimmage and Jefferson seems to prefer what he did Saturday.  His numbers would have been even better without the drops by the receivers. 

As good as LSU's passing game looked on Saturday, the Tigers could not get their running backs going at all.  Charles Scott managed just 20 yards on ten carries.  LSU looked elsewhere for their rushing yards as Jordan Jefferson managed 50 yards on the ground and Russell Shepard provided a spark with an electrifying 69 yard touchdown run.  Most of LSU's struggles in the conventional running game were due to Auburn's game plan of loading the box and dedicating their defense to stopping the run.   LSU also tried a new face at fullback as true freshman Dominique Allen gave it a shot.  He led the way for Charles Scott's long run of eight yards and did a few other good things.  Hopefully, he'll continue to improve as the season moves forward. 

Defensively, you can't ask for much more.  The Tigers held an Auburn offense that averaged 465 yards per game to just 193.  The starting defense allowed Auburn out of the endzone all night.  They sacked Auburn's quarterback four times and caused three turnovers.  We saw the same great tackling by the linebackers and solid play from the secondary, but we also saw a few different things.  LSU blitzed a lot more than we've seen in the past, and they were effective.  LSU's linebackers led the way again.  Harry Coleman was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week after notching nine tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and two forced fumbles.  He was everywhere.  Kelvin Shephard led LSU in tackles with 13 and two tackles for loss.  John Chavis's group is giving LSU some of the best linebacker play we've seen in quite some time. 

The unsung hero on defense was Patrick Peterson.  On the stat sheet, he recorded just one tackle.  However, he simply dominated whoever he was matched up against.  Auburn never looked his way, and his impact in the game was significant despite just one tackle. 

LSU now sits in fantastic position looking towards the end of the season.  The win against Auburn sets up a monumental game in Tuscaloosa in two weeks with the SEC West championship, and much more, on the line.  LSU can absolutely win all of the remaining games on the schedule so nothing should be conceded, but winning two of the three remaining SEC games on the schedule would be a "damn strong" finish to this season with a 10-2 record. 

LSU picked up their 23rd commitment for the Class of 2010 when California defensive tackle Cassius Marsh chose LSU. Marsh was strongly considering Cal, USC, and Arizona State; however, his visit during the weekend of the Florida game sealed the deal for the Tigers. Marsh has some family in Louisiana. rates Marsh as a 4-star player and the #19 defensive tackle in the nation. Rivals also rates him 4-stars and the #13 DT in the nation. LSU really needed to sign another defensive tackle in this class and Marsh fills the void nicely.


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