Then the Tigers ran into a team willing and able to beat Auburn at its own game. Ninth-ranked LSU entered the game with the nation's top-ranked rush defense, while No. 17 Auburn came in with one of the nation's hottest running games over the past month. When push came to shove, LSU pushed and shoved Auburn up and down the field, holding Auburn to 50 rushing yards and 3.2 yards per snap.
The LSU offense also did its part to beat Auburn at the line of scrimmage, outgaining Auburn 381 yards to 193 and gaining 6.2 yards per snap.
"We were already confident," LSU linebacker Eric Alexander said, "but it's an even bigger confidence-booster especially beating a team as good as Auburn. Mainly all the hype was about Auburn, but we came in and showed them that we can play too and that we're a dominant team in the SEC."
With the victory, instead, LSU (7-1, 4-1 SEC) took a big step up in the SEC Western Division race and took Auburn (5-3, 4-1 SEC) down a notch. Both teams trail Ole Miss (6-2, 4-0 SEC), but both teams will also get their shot at the Rebels over the next four weeks.
If LSU continues to play like it did against Auburn, especially up front on both sides of the ball, it will be hard to stop the rest of the way.
"The defensive line, they got penetration and did an outstanding job. Our offense, you know, they controlled the ball a lot," linebacker Lionel Turner said. "They just made plays. We just bonded together. The special teams made plays and got our offense the ball back. It was just all of us clicking on the same cylinders."
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