A magical season for No. 2 LSU just keeps rolling right along.
The Tigers were pushed and prodded but pushed back just enough to top No. 9 Auburn 23-20, remaining undefeated going into their off week and holding up their half of the bargain ahead of a meeting with No. 1 Alabama for conference and national superiority.
QB Joe Burrow was magical once again, overcoming a slow start to eventually post 321 yards with a touchdown and interception. The Heisman Trophy favorite really turned things on after taking a big hit in the second quarter and came up big with his legs at times too in rushing for 31 yards and a score on the ground. Going downfield in the second half seemed to really loosen things up for his offense against one of the best front sevens in the country, allowing Clyde Edwards-Helaire to breakout for 136 yards and a touchdown that all but flipped the momentum in favor of the home side late in the third quarter.
Dave Aranda’s LSU defense was also pretty stout as things wore on in Baton Rouge as well, recording three sacks and keeping the visiting Tigers to under 300 yards of total offense. If there was one negative for the team it was that star safety Grant Delpit injured his ankle while making a tackle with just a few minutes remaining, limping off to the sidelines but looking like he will be okay after a little rest going forward.
As for Auburn, it was once again a case of playing good defense, getting a few breaks on special teams but being let down by the offense too many times. Young QB Bo Nix was just 15-of-35 passing for 157 yards (one TD) and tossed an interception before halftime that took away a potential scoring opportunity. Gus Malzhan’s crew converted just five third downs all game and many of the Tigers’ 15 penalties came on the offensive side of the ball to kill more than a few drives. D.J. Williams did break out with 130 yards rushing, including 70 on a draw in the first half, but it was not enough consistency for AU’s attack to close the gap enough.
The end result is a third top 10 victory for Ed Orgeron this season, firmly supplanting his team’s claim on the best resume in the country. They’ll take a breather over the coming days but certainly took care of business on Saturday to move to 8-0 and preserve the stakes for the upcoming meeting in Tuscaloosa between No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 LSU. We’ll have to wait two more weeks for what has been billed as the latest Game of the Century but, so far, the purple and gold look like they’ll plenty capable of continuing this remarkable run going forward.