AUBURN, Ala. — Add “The Review” to the all-time ledger of absurd happenings in LSU-Auburn history.
LSU celebrated an insane 15-yard walk-off touchdown pass from Danny Etling to D.J. Chark as time expired at Jordan-Hare Stadium, but it was Auburn celebrating once an official review determined that the ball was snapped after the clock hit 0:00, preserving an 18-13 Auburn win.
It was a WILD finish between LSU and Auburn. pic.twitter.com/oGjaUQE4Dq
— 120 Sports (@120Sports) September 25, 2016
Once again, Les Miles’ questionable work as a clock manager seemed to bite LSU in the butt on its final drive, as did the old standby of a timeout burned in the third quarter.
Where was the passing game for first 57 minutes?
It looks like the Tigers’ passing attack is in need of an actual miracle to be productive.
Until the final drive, Auburn held LSU to less than 100 yards through the air as Cam Cameron’s sputtering offense failed to cut the mustard once again. The Bayou Bengals offense is averaging 21 points per game through four games, though that number is down to 16.6 points in games against FBS teams. All this for an offense that has the consensus top running back in the country in the form of Leonard Fournette.
Etling finished his first road start 15 of 27 for 118 yards, but his most significant play was not a pass at all. It was a botched handoff that slipped out of Etling’s hand as he appeared to be running a fullback dive to a ghost with Fournette still 2 yards behind him. The play happened with the Tigers driving in Auburn territory early in the fourth quarter on their first possession after giving up the go-ahead field goal that made it 15-13.
The turnover made the teams even for the game, negating the advantage gained when Arden Key’s strip-sack of Sean White gave LSU the ball inside the Auburn 20 late in the third quarter. Even with that fantastic field position, LSU’s offense was too inept to push the ball over the goal line.
Bend but don’t break not good enough
LSU’s defense was mighty impressive, keeping Auburn out of the end zone in six trips inside the red zone. Unfortunately, that ended up being too much leeway for the Plainsmen’s most dangerous offensive weapon on Saturday night, kicker Daniel Carlson.
Carlson was 6 for 6, getting Auburn on the board with a 51-yarder in the first quarter before hitting five more attempts when trips inside the red zone faltered.
The LSU defense gave up just a few too many big plays inbetween the 20s, and with the offense the way it is, that’s not enough to win on the road.
Fournette bottled by Auburn (and coaches?)
A year after embarrassing Auburn for 228 yards and 3 touchdowns, Fournette was held out of the end zone and gained a season-low 101 yards on 16 carries.
Of course, when a guy is averaging 6.5 yards per carry, it begs to be asked why on earth he only has 16 carries. There is no acceptable answer.
Auburn avoids third and long
The hometown Tigers came in as the SEC’s worst team against pass rushers and were exploited for 3 more sacks by LSU. But Auburn also converted third downs at a respectable rate (8 of 19) because it was able to stay out of obvious passing situations on many third downs.