No. 18 LSU Tigers (2-1 SU, 0-3 ATS) vs. Auburn Tigers (1-2 SU, 2-1 ATS)
College Football Week 4
Date/Time: Saturday, September 24th,, 6:00PM (EST)
Where: Jordan-Hare Stadium Auburn, A.L.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: LSU -3/Auburn +3
Over/Under Total: TBA
An interesting matchup will take place on The Plains this Saturday when the Auburn Tigers host the no. 18 LSU Tigers inside Jordan-Hare Stadium. I say interesting because it appears that both of these teams are not living up to their potential. The Tigers dropped their 2nd loss of the season last week at the hands of another ranked opponent. Meanwhile LSU jumped out to a 23-3 lead over Mississippi State by the 2nd quarter and just barely held on for a 23-20 victory as more offensive problems developed for Les Miles team. Now with the heat of two fan bases growing tired of similar issues, both Auburn and LSU look to turn things around when they meet this Saturday evening.
It has been offensive problems that have held both Auburn and LSU back over the last few years. We saw last year how close LSU came to firing Les Miles for continuously failing to meet expectations in big games with offensive woes being the primary catalyst. Just like LSU fans last year, Auburns fan base is growing tired of subpar results from the Tigers offense. Once labeled an offensive mastermind, Coach Gus Malzahn appears to have lost his magic. The offense was awful last season and they are off to another disastrous start in 2016. In both of Auburns two losses in their first 3 games, they have bene held to less than 20 points. If you consider that the schedule is not going to get any easier, Auburn is in a world of trouble.
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At least the refreshing news for Auburn is the fact they appear to have found their quarterback in Sean White and are no longer juggling quarterbacks on and off the field. White is not a guy that is going to rack up huge numbers and he definitely has issues with consistency. However, he is the best quarterback on the team and gives them the best chance to win. Running backs Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway have provided some excitement in the backfield. Both tailbacks are averaging over 6 yards combined and have tallied more than 550 yards in the first 3 games. However, this offense is still missing that big play potential in the passing game or at least the consistency to help the rushing attack strive.
The bad news for Auburn is that they will face another tough defense in LSU this Saturday. In fact, LSUs defense is likely the best defense they have played thus far this season. Unfortunately for LSU, they may not have the numbers to prove that fact. Like Auburn they have had a wealth of offensive problems which has caused the defense to stay on the field for the majority of the season. However, the LSU defense is still extremely talented and I think they will fare well against this vulnerable Auburn offense on Saturday.
I know it is tough to win on the road in the SEC and that is one reason why I have not ruled out an Auburn upset this weekend. However, the more I break this game down from a matchup perspective the more it favors LSU. The LSU offense has also found their quarterback in Danny Etling and while he may not be an SEC elite quarterback; he is better than Brandon Harris. More importantly the offense has running back Leonard Fournette back healthy which means they should be able to ride their work horse this Saturday in a favorable matchup against Auburns run defense. If Fournette keeps the chains moving like I expect, LSU should deliver a knock out towards Malzahns chances of getting off the hot seat.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: LSU matches up well in this game on both sides of the ball. I think they will be able to move the ball more consistently and get help from their defense. Take LSU -3
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