AUBURN – The grades for Auburn after another blown lead.
Robby Ashford took some serious steps forward as Auburn’s quarterback on Saturday. He is still young, and his inexperience was shown in his fumble and interception, but he showed flashes as a passer and even better outside of the pocket, setting a career-high with 337 yards.
Running Backs: B
Even with a running game that still was not where it needed to be, Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter were true bright spots on the offense. They combined for 80 yards on the ground and 88 yards through the air. Auburn’s duo is still one of the best in the nation.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: B
Ja’Varrius Johnson returned to the offense and John Samuel Shenker is now second all-time in receptions for a tight end at Auburn. The receiving corps has made significant strides under Ike Hilliard and showed a lot of promise on Saturday, though the Koy Moore interception was a low point.
Offensive Line: B
Even with some shuffling on the line, including Brandon Council at center, the offensive line might’ve had its best game of the year. They were significantly better in pass protection, and the running game showed signs of life, even with LSU stacking the box.
Defensive Line: B+
Derick Hall and company showed up again as the defense kept Auburn in the game in the second half. The defensive line had three total sacks and Colby Wooden finished the game with 2 tackles for loss along with a sack. The loss of Eku Leota could prove crucial down the stretch.
Wesley Steiner was a mess on defense and the only bad part of a defense that really played great throughout the contest. Owen Pappoe was Owen Pappoe once again, but he did not make any big impact plays down the stretch. Steiner’s worst missed tackle of the game gave LSU the lead in the third quarter.
Defensive Backs: B+
LSU’s passing attack was almost nonexistent. The Bayou Bengals had just 85 yards through the air and 10 completions on 26 attempts. Kayshon Boutte had one catch and the defensive backs held their own in the running game as well.
Special Teams: D-
There are a lot of reasons Auburn lost on Saturday, and special teams are absolutely one of them. Anders Carlson has made just 2 of his last 6 kicks, and his miss in the second quarter led to Auburn's aggressiveness and the Koy Moore trick play interception. The Keionte Scott muffed punt did not help either.
A great game plan to start, Auburn once again lost in the second half. The Tigers led 17-0, and even 17-7 after a fumble return touchdown gave LSU some life. But the Tigers' second-half drives consisted of two punts, two interceptions, a turnover on downs and a muffed punt. This is five straight SEC games in which the Tigers have given up a double-digit lead.
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