Ugh. It’s always an unenviable task to try to find something to tout after a loss like yesterday. The negatives seemed to outweigh the positives, although the positives were there. Let’s watch the highlights first.
And if you’d like to, check out the Auburn Football Review from last night as well:
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
After looking at the box score, there was really only one guy that was consistent throughout the entire game and who paced the offense pretty well. It’s Boobee Whitlow. 22 carries, 104 yards, and a touchdown to put Auburn on the board in the second quarter.
He had multiple burst plays to get 8-10 yards, and he also had several plays that won’t show up in the stat sheet that prevented big losses. There were a couple of handoffs where he got hit in the backfield and churned for no gain or even a small positive gain. He did a good job, and with Kam Martin disappearing, it seemed like he pretty much claimed the starting running back spot.
There were some other guys that played well in spots, but the breakdown of the offensive line and LSU’s defense kept those guys in check, but we’ll recognize them below anyway. I was impressed that much of Auburn’s offensive production came from freshmen, but it does make you wonder why guys like Ryan Davis and Nate Craig-Myers aren’t getting involved in the offense as much.
- Shaun Shivers: 7 carries, 25 yards, 1 TD
- Seth Williams: 2 catches, 35 yards
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
This is an easy one. Nearly everyone on Auburn’s defense had some sort of a breakdown at some point during the game, except for Deshaun Davis. The senior linebacker finished with 13 tackles, including 4 TFLs, 2 quarterback hurries, and Auburn’s lone sack of the game.
Davis was everywhere, and came up with key stops on third downs a couple of times in addition to stopping the LSU run game in the backfield time and again. While the defensive backs had another tough game, Davis and the front seven played pretty solidly. There was only the lack of pass rush to point to as a negative, and Davis had the lone sack from Auburn’s defense. If only we’d had a couple more of him.
All of the little things just went against Auburn yesterday, and if you’d told me that Kevin Steele’s defense would hold LSU to 2.9 yards per carry, less than 50% completion percentage, and that LSU would commit nine penalties for 91 yards, I would’ve said it’s an easy Auburn victory. Alas.
- Derrick Brown: 9 tackles, 0.5 TFLs
- Marlon Davidson: 6 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, 1 quarterback hurry
PLAY OF THE GAME
With no real defensive spark play to speak of, I’m looking in the third quarter when it looked like Auburn was ready to take control of this game and run away with it. Leading 14-10, the Tigers moved the ball down inside the ten yard line of LSU. Jarrett Stidham scrambled for what was originally ruled a touchdown, but that was called back upon review. Auburn got the ball with second-and-goal from the one-foot line, and Boobee Whitlow’s wildcat run went backward.
Uh oh. This was the point that I recalled last year when LSU did convert on the goal line on fourth down. It was a game-changing moment and one that allowed LSU to come back. It felt like a failure to get into the end zone would be a similar turning point in yesterday’s game. Now facing third down from the 4-yard line, Jarrett Stidham went under center, sent Chandler Cox and Whitlow out wide, and rolled out. Darius Slayton faked a stalk block and then went into the back of the end zone where he was all alone for the throw from Stidham. Easy touchdown, 21-10 Auburn.
That was the one that I thought had the potential to be the back-breaker, but LSU kept hanging on. Credit to them for using all opportunities to complete the comeback.
Night game next week, everyone. Arkansas comes to town having been trounced by North Texas and licking their wounds. This is a get-right game for Auburn, as we’ve got two weeks to get it figured out before the trip to Starkville. War Eagle!