In a must-win game for both head coaches, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn went to the locker room at halftime up 9-7 on LSU’s Les Miles in a game as prodding and slow as the score would indicate.
The Tigers were unable to find the end zone despite breaking open some big plays and had to rely on three Daniel Carlson field goals to hold the lead after two quarters. Quarterback Sean White only had three incompletions among his 14 passes (for 144 yards) but looked as though he was starting to get in a rhythm against LSU’s tough defensive front.
Speaking of that defense, the Baton Rouge-based Tigers came up big just before halftime by stopping Kerryon Johnson on both third- and fourth-and-goal from the one yard line.
LSU averaged over seven yards a rush on offense but simply didn’t have the ball much, running just 24 snaps in the first half. Quarterback Danny Etling had 23 yards passing on six completions but did end up escaping pressure and shot-putting the ball to Foster Moreau for the game’s only touchdown.
Leonard Fournette added 64 yards on a robust 9.1 yards per carry.
The close score means both teams figure to be a little tight in what many are already labeling the Buyout Bowl given rumors about both head coaches being on the hot seat.