No. 2 LSU Tigers (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) vs. Auburn Tigers (1-2 SU, 0-3 ATS)
College Football Week 4
Date/Time: Saturday September 22nd, 2012. 7:00PM Eastern
Where:Jordan Hare Stadium Auburn, A.L
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:LSU -19/Aub +19
Over/Under Total: OFF
The no. 2 LSU Tigers continued their dominating ways last week in a 63-14 blowout over Idaho. The Tigers were not challenged for the 3rd week in a row as they cruised to a 3-0 start in 2012. This week the Tigers get their first taste of conference action when they travel to Jordan Hare Stadium to battle the struggling Auburn Tigers in a SEC West face-off. This will be LSU’s first road trip of the season and it will be interesting to see if things come as easy for LSU outside of Baton Rouge.
Before the season began, this late September battle between LSU and Auburn appeared intriguing for most SEC enthusiast like myself. After all, Auburn was expected to be greatly improved and a possible group that could surprise some teams in the SEC West. However after the first 3 games, Auburn appears even worse than last year’s 8-5 squad. “That other team in Alabama” was defeated by Clemson in a tough season opener and then dominated by Mississippi State 28-10. Last week, the Tigers pulled out a 31-28 overtime victory again University of Louisiana-Monroe. Sure the Warhawks beat Arkansas in a huge upset the week before, but that is no excuse for a program like Auburn.
A few things have become apparent for the ‘War Eagle’. The biggest components are Auburn’s inability to throw the football and inability to stop the run. The Tigers’ defense has given up 217 yards per game on the ground this season ranking 107th in the nation. Opposing teams have been able to run the football at will and control the tempo of the football game. In fact, Auburn has failed to win the time of possession battle in all 3 games so far this year. The offense has run the ball efficiently with running back Onterio McCalebb and Tre Mason. Both backs have over 200 yards rushing and over 5 yards per carry.
Still, the problems surround the passing offense. Once defenses load the box, QB Kiehl Frazier has not been able to punish defenses like a quarterback should with limited coverage on the outside. Frazier has completed just 50% passing for 449 yards with 2 scores and 5 picks through 3 games. Obviously, those numbers will not cut it especially when Auburn starts facing even better defenses in the upcoming weeks. Therefore if things do not change fast on both sides of the football, Auburn will be lucky to win 6 games in 2012.
For the Bayou Bengals from Baton Rouge, LSU will bring a football team into Jordan Hare that can exploit all of Auburn’s weaknesses. LSU strengths play right into the weaknesses of Auburn that we previously discussed. LSU has the best offensive line in college football that will pound the football repeatedly on the ground. Tailbacks Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue have the talent to make big plays in the run game. Both backs have already combined for just less than 600 yards and 8 scores in the Tigers first 3 games. LSU’s offense has averaged 269 yards per game on the ground this season (13th in FBS) and they will put extreme pressure on that weak Auburn run defense this Saturday.
For LSU’s defense, they are just as dominate as that aforementioned offensive line. LSU’s defense has allowed just 47 yards per game against the run this season to give them the 4th best rush defense in college football. Not a good stat for a team like Auburn that has only been able to move the football on the ground. LSU’s key to success over the past several years has been dominating the trenches on both sides of the football and they accomplish that task as well as any other team in the country. Expect LSU’s defense to stuff the run and force Auburn to throw the football this Saturday. Once that happens, LSU’s talent mismatch will be displayed overwhelmingly.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Expect this game to be similar to Alabama’s 52-0 win over Arkansas last week. Auburn will come out with some intensity with the home crowd but LSU will prove their too much to handle in a 41-13 type ball game. Take LSU -19
Additional College Football Betting Previews