BATON ROUGE, La. -- Here are GeauxTigerNation's predictions for Saturday's LSU-Auburn game.
Gary Laney: As weird as it is sounds, an Auburn team that's last in the SEC in rush defense will be the best rush defense LSU has faced so far this season for two reasons:
1. AU recruits high-end BCS talent (unlike Idaho and North Texas), and ...
2. It's built to contend with SEC-style running attacks (unlike Washington, with a defense built to stop Pac-12 speed offenses).
Don't read too much into Auburn's modest statistics, because it has played a slightly tougher schedule than most SEC teams in a what's still a young season: vs. Clemson, at a pretty good Mississippi State team and against a UL-Monroe team that upset Arkansas.
All that said, LSU is still better. I'm just saying I think Auburn will cover the 20.5-point spread: LSU 30, Auburn 14.
David Helman: On top of what Gary just said, emotion plays a major factor in college athletics. We've seen it time and time again. Whatever promise is left in Auburn's season goes out the window if it falls to 1-3 after four weeks of play, and the Tigers will host the game in front of a hostile stadium full of fans who want someone else to feel their pain.
I think Auburn plays well enough to keep it respectable at halftime -- maybe a 14-3 deficit. But LSU's overwhelming depth and experience will win out through the 60 minutes, just like it did last year, when tight halftime scores routinely became laughers in the Tigers' favor. The purple and gold Tigers pound the orange and blue Tigers into submission in the second half and walk away with an easy win: LSU 34, Auburn 10.