LSU vs. Auburn is one of the SEC’s finest rivalries, largely due to a long and storied history of wild and memorable games. So it should come as no surprise that the 2022 edition of Tigers vs. Tigers is also packed with intrigue. LSU pulled off an emphatic 38-0 home win over New Mexico while Auburn narrowly escaped Missouri 17-14 in overtime in one of the sloppiest games of the season.
There is no doubt that this is a huge game on both sides. An away win against Auburn will keep the momentum for Brian Kelly’s LSU roster after it recovers from the Week 1 heartbreaker against Florida State. Meanwhile, Auburn coach Bryan Harsin would love to move up to 2-0 in conference play and show his critics that there’s hope he can turn things around.
Let’s break down the key storylines in the matchup and pick straight and against the spread.
LSU vs. Auburn: Must know
Auburn’s OL problems: Auburn’s offensive line has been terrible this year, regardless of the quarterback. TJ Finley, Robby Ashford and Holden Geriner have all been under unrelenting pressure this year. That needs to change for Auburn to be successful, but now it’s on the third middle of the string against one of the best defensive lines in the country. Auburn has given up 7.25 tackles for losses per game and 2.75 sacks per game, which isn’t a recipe for success. That’s a big reason why the offense ranks 13th on the SEC, with 32% in third-down conversions. If Auburn can’t block and can’t move the chains, it’s going to be a long night.
The silent success of Jayden Daniels: The top-ranked Arizona State transfer has quietly put together one of the best seasons of any quarterback in the conference. He has thrown no interceptions, ranks third in the conference for completion rates (73%), and is second in rushing among signal callers at 65.5 yards per game (including sack yards). It will be fascinating to see Auburn’s front seven attack him. Derick Hall is a stallion from the edge and there is talent as a linebacker on The Plains, but the front seven as a whole hasn’t come close to living up to expectations. LSU coach Brian Kelly has always been creative with how he uses his quarterback’s legs, so expect him to try to take advantage of Auburn’s front seven in a variety of ways.
The Harsin Factor: Harsin could have been fired as early as last Sunday, according to multiple reports, had the Tigers lost to Missouri, but the 17-14 overtime win probably didn’t do much to ward off his critics. Players won’t give up – they want to win more than anyone – but when programs have so much turmoil it can take a mental toll and spiral a season out of control. If auburn comes out flat, this spiral will likely continue.
How to watch LSU vs. Auburn live
date: Saturday 1 Oct | time: 7 p.m. ET
location: Jordan-Hare Stadium – Auburn, Alabama
TV: ESPN | Live broadcast: fuboTV (Try it for free)
LSU vs. Auburn prediction, tips
Featured Game | Auburn Tigers vs. LSU Tigers
I just don’t trust Auburn’s offense at all, especially against LSU’s fast and physical front seven. Also, I don’t trust Harsin to use Tank Bigsby for a full four quarters; he apparently forgot Bigsby existed after the first quarter of last week’s game. LSU will dominate in the trenches, wearing down an Auburn team that just can’t keep up. Prediction: LSU (-9)
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