Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Through one half, the LSU defense has lived up to its reputation ... and unfortunately for the visiting Tigers, so has their offense. Gus Malzahn 's dynamic Auburn offense was held to just 10 points and 177 yards in the first half, well below their season averages. While Cam Newton ran for 78 yards and a touchdown, he also threw for only 32 total yards and looked uncomfortable in the pocket against LSU's (arguably) SEC-best secondary.
But those 10 points were good enough for a 10-3 lead until the final 15 seconds of the half, when Jordan Jefferson escaped a Daren Bates tackle at the 10 and sprinted in to tie the game. The play capped a huge 14-play, 78-yard, momentum-changing drive for LSU following a missed field goal by the usually-reliable Wes Byrum , the miss wasting Auburn's own 13-play march. Both teams will kick themselves for missed opportunities; LSU took the ball across midfield on their first three possessions and scored just one 48-yard Josh Jasper field goal.
So who's got the upper hand? LSU will take the second-half kickoff, a big deal in what's shaping up as an extremely low-possession game, but LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee suffered a wrist injury just before the half; Les Miles just said he would play in the second half, but if he can't, can Jefferson throw well enough to keep LSU moving? Can Auburn use their big home crowd to propel themselves into a big second half, as they did against Clemson and South Carolina ? But what if Nick Fairley really has a head injury and has to miss the second half himself?
The Lee injury might tilt the odds slightly in Auburn's favor, but after 30 minutes, things are way too close to call.
Don't forget to stop by Tom Fornelli's live Facebook chat during the second half and have your say.