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Tigers report: Strategy and personnel

 
Strategy and personnel · Notes, quotes · Inside slant
 

THIS WEEK'S GAME: LSU at Auburn, Sept. 18 -- While Hurricane Ivan heads for the Gulf Coast, the rumors out of Auburn this week insisted LSU Nick Saban doesn't want to play this game until November because he's not confident in his quarterbacks. Rumors aside, Auburn only leads the LSU series 7-5 in games played at Auburn and the teams have split their past eight meetings. LSU beat Auburn 31-7 at home last year and Auburn beat LSU 31-7 in Auburn two years ago, but look for this game to be much closer. A turnover or a blocked kick could make all the difference. So could a big mistake by a quarterback. One of the keys for LSU will be a good start: under Saban LSU is 35-2 when leading at halftime and 33-2 when leading after three quarters.

PLAYERS TO WATCH
QBs Marcus Randall and JaMarcus Russell -- Both quarterbacks took a step in the right direction last week with positive performances. Of course, the Tigers played Arkansas State but Randall did complete five of seven passes for 59 yards and a touchdown and had a TD pass to Dwayne Bowe erased by a penalty for the second consecutive week. Russell came off the bench and shared the job, hitting seven out of 11 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns. Both will likely play against Auburn and be counted on to do their share.

RBs Justin Vincent and Joseph Addai -- The quarterbacks will need plenty of help from a running game that showed positive progress last week with 238 yards, including 102 yards from Vincent and 95 from Addai. They combined to average 9.9 yards a carry.

MLB Lionel Turner -- Auburn will try to dominate the line of scrimmage and run the ball, so Turner has to lead a front seven that is still working on replacing the loss of three starters.

ROSTER REPORT
WR/KR Skyler Green (ankle) and DB Mario Stevenson (foot) missed a day of practice this week to give them extra time to heal for Saturday's game at Auburn, while RBs Alley Broussard (head injury) and Jason Spadoni (knee) and WR receiver Craig Davis (head) are attempting to avoid unnecessary contact so they can be ready for Saturday's game.

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