AUBURN, Ala. --LSU had Auburn on the ropes early on its own field, then Corey Lemonier showed why you always have a chance when you have a big-time pass-rusher against a young quarterback.
The Auburn defensive end stripped Zach Mettenberger on a sack at the LSU 26 yard-line and Angelo Blackson recovered it, setting up a touchdown that cut what had been a dominating early, 9-point LSU lead to a 2-point game game. It was the second of two turnovers by Mettenberger in his first road and SEC start.
The game stayed close the rest of the first half, with Auburn taking a 10-9 halftime lead on Cody Parkey's 40-yard field goal with 1:21 left in the half.
Stat of the half: 182-88. LSU's total yardage advantage, which was offset by Mettenberger's two redzone turnovers.
The LSU quarterback was otherwise effective, completing 10-of-13 passes for 78 yards, but he felt Auburn's pressure and turned the ball over.
Player of the half: Lemonier, whose sack changed the game, spearheaded AU's effort to stay close to LSU. It offset a solid 70-yard rushing half for LSU's Spencer Ware.
What's working for LSU: LSU's defense allowed four first downs and just 90 yards in the first half, killing Auburn's efforts to get to the edge with Onterio McCalebb with penetration. Sam Montgomery had a tackle in the end zone of Tre Mason of Auburn for a safety.
What's not working for LSU: Mettenberger, with his two fumbles in his first SEC start, allowed Auburn to get off the hook, possibly for 14 points. His fumbled snap at the Auburn 3 yard-line in the first quarter, recovered by Auburn Jeffrey Whitaker, might have negated an eventual LSU touchdown and his second fumble set up an Auburn touchdown.