Auburn vs LSU score, takeaway: Tigers battle Bengals Bayou in best performance of the season

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The last time Auburn and LSU met as an unranked team was in 1999 when Auburn won 41-7 at Baton Rouge. Auburn partied like in 1999 on Saturday afternoon at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The home Tigers put in 48-11 in what has been the most impressive performance of the year for coach Gus Malzahn’s side.Bo Nix hit Eli Stove on a 9-yard touchdown early in the second quarter to start the scoring, and Christian Tutt caught a 20-yard TJ Finley fumble for a later score in the second quarter to put LSU to two touchdowns. Nix then hit a wide open Ze’Vian Capers with less than a minute left in the first half to spin this one sideways.

And he got really, really sideways. Nix added another touchdown pass and a 5-yard second-half scoring and running back Tank Bigsby also hit him twice. The Tigers scored touchdowns on the first four drives of the second half to hand LSU their worst loss in rivalry history.

Put simply, LSU’s attack just couldn’t start with Finley under center as the first year started in place of injured Myles Brennan for the second week in a row. Finley threw two picks (including one to Nehemiah Pritchett to establish the game’s first score) and was benched in the second half in favor of Max Johnson.

The win pushes Auburn to 4-2 this season, while reigning national champion LSU drops to 2-3.

Let’s go over some of the main takeaways from Saturday’s game.

Is Nix back? The second-year quarterback has had its ups and downs throughout his brief career, but it was different. It sounded like the Nix being touted as a difference factor in an attack that matches his skills perfectly. Why? Because he didn’t panic and controlled the game from the start.

Nix has had happy feet in all five of Auburn’s games in 2020, and for good reason. His offensive line hasn’t really done much to allay his concerns. But it was so bad at times that he would set himself free almost immediately after taking pictures. He didn’t do that on Saturday, and it wasn’t for lack of pressure. LSU got him moving – something he can do. But instead of panicking and throwing out prayers, he ran through his progress and moved the chains.

This is what Nix is ​​supposed to be. This is what Auburn’s offense must be.

The gas cooker: Nix was great on Saturday, but one of the main reasons that attack was sparked was the job of wide receiver Eli Stove. The fast senior had 16 catches and two races ahead, but he was much more of a focal point against the Tigers. Stove had five catches for 64 yards and three carries for 21 yards, and was the undisputed catalyst for the Orange and Blue Tigers.

Malzahn is all about eye candy. Stove’s ability to not only play with the ball in his hands, but also to grab the attention of the defense made Nix’s job much easier than in previous games.

It’s surprising that it took so long to make it the centerpiece. Malzahn consistently uses movement before the snap to keep defenses honest, and Stove has been around for five years. Of course, he injured his knee two years ago. But it’s almost as if Malzahn was shy and reluctant to put him in danger since his return.

Stove is back… and he made this attack auburn red hot.

The Bo Pelini experiment does not work: The college football world was shocked – in a good way – when LSU coach Ed Orgeron hired former Nebraska coach Bo Pelini to coordinate the defense after Dave Aranda left to coach Baylor. It will be shocking – in a bad way – if it is employed by LSU for much longer.

I don’t care how many starts outside of defense. It is an LSU defense with LSU athletes and LSU strength and conditioning. It should never, in any case, light up like a Christmas tree in a coherent way.

I mean, come on. Derek Stingley, JaCoby Stevens and Todd Harris are still in high school. They should not be confused beyond belief. It’s on Pelini.

It might not be Sunday and it might not be next week. But the chance that Pelini will remain employed by LSU in 2021 is about as likely that 2020 will return to normal.

Win in the trenches: Auburn’s forward seven looked average at best in the first five games of the season, but it felt like the old Saturday’s defense. He had seven tackles for the loss and four sacks – two of which were from linebacker Derick Hall. On top of that, defensive coordinator Kevin Steele did a masterful job of building pressure in different ways and punching when he smelled blood in the water.

That defense kept LSU at 5 of 17 on the third conversions and kept it from reaching the red zone.

It’s not just great defense… it’s championship level defense.

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