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LSU center Lloyd Cushenberry and the Bayou Bengals face No. 10 Auburn in Death Valley.

LSU-Auburn: Pregame observations from Tiger Stadium

Alex Hickey

BATON ROUGE, La. — Despite being a home underdog, LSU heads into this year’s showdown with Auburn looking to keep the visitors winless at Tiger Stadium in the 21st century.

The visiting Tigers are trying to win at Death Valley for the first time since 1999, while LSU can unexpectedly catapult itself back into the SEC West race with the upset.

To prepare you for kickoff, SEC Country is providing observations from Tiger Stadium from now until kickoff. Click here to see SEC Country’s score predictions, and here to find information on where to watch the game on TV and online.

Neither LSU starting tackle warms up

  • As expected, neither of LSU’s starting tackles — left tackle K.J. Malone and right tackle Toby Weathersby — participated in the Tigers initial pregame warmup. Freshmen Saahdiq Charles and sophomore Adrian Magee are taking their spots in the lineup, respectively. Last week freshman Austin Deculus saw the majority of the snaps at right tackle, but right guard Magee has been moved over and into Weathersby’s normal spot.

It looks like it might be quite some time before the Tigers have Malone available again:

Other observations from Tiger Stadium:

  • The never-ending journey of JaCoby Stevens continues. Stevens, who came to LSU as a safety, moved to receiver in August, then moved back to safety two weeks ago, was warming up with the receivers. For the record, he made an impressive one-handed catch in warmups. But his continually shifting remains one of the more enduring mysteries about this particular LSU team.

The mystery has not yet been solved. Stevens was once again with the secondary when the Tigers came out of the locker room for their full-uniform warmups 45 minutes before kickoff.

  • Defensive end Rashard Lawrence was out of the locker room early to run around and test his ankle. He moved well and wore no brace — both good signs.
  • Redshirt freshman Eric Monroe is warming up as LSU’s No. 1 strong safety. Normal starter John Battle is dressed out and does not appear to be limited, but pregame appearances can sometimes deceive.
  • It is very hot at Tiger Stadium, as expected. But it feels like a trip to the Rocky Mountains compared to last week’s conditions at The Swamp in Florida. There is a gentle breeze keeping things a bit more comfortable.
  • Many members of the 2007 national championship team are already in attendance, including quaterback Matt Flynn.
  • Also in attendance for reasons we’ve yet to determine: former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzedah, who played at Oregon State in 1999 and 2000.
  • A Bengals receiver whose attendance makes a little more sense? Brandon LaFell, yet another member of the ’07 champions to make the trip home.
  • Other former LSU players we have seen: La’el Collins, Ryan Clark, Lewis Neal and Rickey Jefferson.
  • LSU first-year basketball coach Will Wade continues to intelligently engage with the student body. Watch his players toss t-shirts into the student section:

Watch the LSU band pregame march