Hill, RBs Power LSU Past Auburn
by Donovan Tennimon
Sep 22, 2013 9:30 PM EDT
On the 25th anniversary of the infamous “Earthquake Game,” LSU’s powerful running attack rumbled past Auburn on Saturday night in Baton Rouge. If the 1988 LSU vs. Auburn contest is known for producing enough noise and energy to register on the school’s Richter scale, then this game should be dubbed the “Monsoon Game.” Heavy rain saturated the field at Tiger Stadium and everyone in it. Fortunately for the Bayou Bengals, the wet conditions seemed to affect Auburn more than LSU.
All three of LSU’s first-half touchdowns came on the ground, two by Jeremy Hill and one by big J.C. Copeland. LSU scored four of its five touchdowns via the run.
Here are five takeaways from LSU’s impressive win against Auburn.
1. Jeremy Hill Explodes
Hill darted 49 yards on the opening series for a touchdown; it would be a premonition of things to come. He kept running and then ran some more for a total of 184 yards and three touchdowns. Both are career highs for Hill. The powerful sophomore continuously ripped through the Auburn defense. LSU’s offensive line deserves a lot of the credit as they opened holes for the Tigers' talented backfield most of the night.
2. Defense Limits Other Tigers
LSU’s defense did a magnificent job controlling Auburn’s speedy backfield from sideline to sideline. The Tigers from the Plains couldn’t get their running backs or receivers in open space. The front seven and the cornerbacks used sure tackling to control Auburn’s offense. Defensive end Jermauria Rasco caused an interception in the second quarter when he used his speed to get to Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall and forced him to make a bad throw on the run. Auburn scored all their points in the second half and never got any closer than 14. Auburn earned the bulk of its yardage in the fourth quarter as well.
3. Wet Conditions Affect Play
The impact all the rain had on these teams is worth mentioning again. Gus Malzahn’s squad couldn’t throw the ball like they hoped. They never looked comfortable and made several mistakes, including a fumble by the Auburn punter early in the game. The snap was perfect; he just couldn’t handle the wet ball. The turnover led to Hill’s second score. LSU used their power running game to counter the rain and the plan worked.
4. First Interception For Mettenberger
Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later, Zach Mettenberger threw his first interception of the game on LSU’s first drive of the second half. Auburn’s Tre Mason capitalized on the mistake and scored Auburn’s first touchdown. On the ensuing drive, Mettenberger responded with a big pass to his tight end Travis Dickson to set up LSU’s fourth touchdown. He completed all four passes on the drive.
5. Confidence High In Baton Rouge
LSU is one of nine teams in the FBS that have yet to trail in a game this season. They have won all four contests by double digits and as a result have played numerous young and inexperienced players to close out those games. This experience and confidence should bode well as LSU prepares for its first conference road game of the season at Georgia.