THIS WEEK'S GAME: LSU at Auburn, Sept. 18 -- The coaches and players can finally admit it: nearly everything Auburn has done the past two weeks against Louisiana-Monroe and Mississippi State has been aimed toward preparing for this game. Auburn beat LSU 31-7 in Auburn two years ago and lost 31-7 at LSU last year, but look for this game to be much closer. A turnover, a big mistake or a blocked kick could make all the difference.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
RBs Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown -- Williams and Brown combined for 269 rushing yards against Mississippi State, giving Williams 225 yards and Brown 202 yards after two games. Together, they form the toughest backfield duo in the conference.
QB Jason Campbell -- A fourth-year starter who is finally starting to show signs of experience and maturity, Campbell completed eight of 17 passes for 139 yards against Mississippi State, despite six dropped passes. He threw three touchdown passes and ran the offense effectively. "His management of that football game, in terms of getting us in good plays, was almost flawless -- unbelievable," first-year offensive coordinator Al Borges said. "He checked the defenses. He saw where the weaknesses were and ran the ball and passed the ball, and he did it time and time again."
NG Josh Thompson sure caught the attention of his coaches and teammates against Mississippi State having his nose busted open, requiring four stitches. Thompson returned to the game as soon as he was allowed and was chosen Auburn's defensive player of the game by the coaches for making two tackles for loss, grading at 97 percent and playing through his bloody injury. ... QB Jason Campbell suffered a bruise on his left, non-throwing hand on Saturday and is practicing with a pad on the hand, but Campbell insisted he will be fine for the LSU game. ... LB Karibi Dede (strained abdomen), DT Jay Ratliff (ankle) and DE Marquies Gunn (ankle) could be limited in practice this week as they attempt to prepare for the LSU game.
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