Auburn blew a 17-0 lead tonight at Jordan-Hare Stadium and lost to LSU 21-17, breaking a two-game winning streak in the series.
There were a ton of things that went wrong, and a ton that went right. The players fought like crazy, but 4 turnovers and some really poor coaching decisions didn’t allow for Auburn to fight through for a victory.
Will Bryan Harsin survive the weekend? We’ll see.
Things got started on an awful note with LSU’s Sevyn Banks sustaining a serious injury on the game’s opening kickoff as Auburn took the ball to begin the contest. Banks was hit with a targeting penalty as he was carted off the field, and Auburn fans booed the 15-yard infraction. On the first drive, Robby Ashford converted one third down on an out route to Koy Moore, and then found paydirt on the next third down. Ashford scrambled out of the pocket and lofted a pass to a wide open Ja’Varrius Johnson behind the defense for a 53-yard score.
The drive covered 69 yards in 6 plays and put Auburn ahead 7-0 very quickly. On LSU’s first drive, Eku Leota notched a sack, and the Auburn defense forced a three-and-out. LSU’s defense returned the favor after Auburn got the ball back, and B.J. Ojulari ended the Auburn drive with a sack of his own.
After one first down from Tank Bigsby on the third drive, Auburn was again forced to punt, but a Colby Wooden sack ended any threat from LSU. A great punt started Auburn at their own 1-yard line, and the Tigers got out to the 25 before the opening quarter ended. On the first play of the second quarter, Ashford hit Jarquez Hunter downfield for a 61-yard gain, and then found an uncovered Camden Brown in the end zone in front of the student section for his first career score. The drive covered 99 yards, took 6 plays, and was the second passing touchdown of the day for Ashford. Auburn led 14-0 with 14:04 left in the first half.
A penalty put LSU behind the sticks on their first drive of the quarter, and a Colby Wooden sack ended any chance they had to make up ground. Auburn took over past their own 40 on the next possession. A long throw to Koy Moore got the Tigers into the red zone, but they had to settle for an Anders Carlson field goal attempt. He drilled the 29-yard attempt, giving Auburn a 17-0 lead with 9:38 left until halftime.
LSU punted again, the fifth in a row to begin the game, and a kick catch interference penalty gave Auburn an extra 15 yards to start the drive. However, on first down, Ashford got flushed out by Ojulari, and he was stripped while trying to throw. The ball was picked up and taken into the end zone for a score by LSU’s Jay Ward.
On the next possession for Auburn, they started with Tank Bigsby, and then a 25-yard tipped catch to Omari Kelly pushed Auburn deep into LSU’s end. Unfortunately, Anders Carlson missed a 40-yard field goal, giving LSU the ball back in the final two minutes of the half.
They moved into Auburn’s end thanks to a personal foul penalty, and then a 33-yard completion to John Emery Jr. on the wheel route set them up at first and goal with :33 remaining. Jayden Daniels scored from a yard out to pull LSU within a 17-14 deficit as we hit the half.
Both Auburn and LSU went three-and-out to begin the second half, and Robby Ashford began the drive with a 24-yard burst up the middle on the next drive for Auburn. However, a pass interference penalty on Tyler Fromm pushed the Tigers back for 3rd and 25, but Ashford converted on a throw to Fromm for 35 yards. For some reason, facing a 4th and 10 moments later, Bryan Harsin took a timeout to discuss the situation, and then went for it. Ashford’s pass fell incomplete, and Auburn turned the ball over still leading 17-14.
LSU drove down the field, not bothering to throw the ball, and John Emery Jr. blasted through a tackle from Wesley Steiner to high step into the end zone from 20 yards away. That erased Auburn’s 17-0 lead and gave LSU the 21-17 edge with 3:32 left in the third quarter.
Auburn didn’t go quietly, however. They drove thanks to a 27-yard completion to John Samuel Shenker, and then a fortunate holding penalty extended a drive on fourth down and erased an interception. Jarquez Hunter pushed inside the red zone as the third quarter ended.
The Tigers pushed inside the 10-yard line, and set up a first and goal at the 5 before disaster struck. Robby Ashford fumbled the first down snap and lost five yards before Koy Moore threw an interception on a trick play.
LSU got the ball deep in their own territory, but the Auburn defense forced another punt with 10:00 left in the game. Another fumble on an exchange lost yardage for Auburn, and they had to kick it right back and waste good field position. With Jayden Daniels out after banging his knee, Garret Nussmeier couldn’t lead the offense to anything productive. On a punt with five minutes left, Keionte Scott fumbled the catch and LSU recovered, but just two plays later Auburn forced a John Emery fumble to take the ball back trailing 21-17 with 4:56 left.
A big Tank Bigsby run got the drive started and pushed into LSU territory, and then Robby Ashford rifled a pass for Koy Moore that got ripped away by Greg Brooks for the third turnover in the span of a couple minutes. LSU got the ball back with less than 3 minutes to play and was able to run the clock out to secure the victory.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Colby Wooden and Derick Hall each played a hell of a game with a sack and multiple tackles for loss apiece. They helped hold LSU under 300 yards and to just 3.8 yards per play.
PLAY OF THE GAME
It was the opening drive where Auburn went right down the field and was able to score. Robby Ashford for 53 yards to Ja’Varrius Johnson for the first score of the game.
Auburn gets the hilarious task of heading to Athens next weekend for a date with top-ranked Georgia. Kickoff comes at 2:30 pm CST/3:30 pm EST next Saturday afternoon.