montgomeryadvertiser.com

Sponsored by:
9.19.2008

Scouting Auburn-LSU, 9/19

Hey everyone. I have received some realy helpful assistance on the mobile phone front (thanks, Alan and Jeff) and I'm hoping to make a decision on that real soon. I lover the iPhone as a device. I don't love AT&T's network, which seems smallish by comparison to, say, any other carrier.

So despite penning this blog and all my stories with Apple equipment, maybe I'll break from Steve Jobs' grasp on this one. Or maybe not. I'm so confused.

I'm not foggy about tomorrow's football game. Here is a gander at how I see this matchup -- it's sure to anger fans on both sides, as usual -- which should make Saturday night a lot of fun for everyone. Even Lou Holtz.

POSITION BY POSITION
QUARTERBACK
Advantage: LSU
LSU is playing two guys, Jarrett Lee and Andrew Hatch, and trying to find the superior option. Sound familiar? There is a difference. They're both pretty good. Does Auburn have one good quarterback?

RUNNING BACKS
Advantage: Auburn
Ben Tate may not have breath-taking speed, but he's a tough guy who makes the most of his opportunities. He's a gifted receiver. LSU has a lot of talent back here. It's a tough call, but I'm still siding with Tate.

RECEIVERS
Advantage: LSU
Not close at all. LSU has Brandon LaFell and Demetrius Byrd, who are NFL-type players. Does Auburn have anyone who can seize control of a game? Montez Billings can jump. Does he have other skills?

OFFENSIVE LINE
Advantage: LSU
Auburn had an uncharacteristically poor performance at LSU, complete with nine penalties for the offensive line. The Pugh-for-Bosley switch doesn't seem like a long-term upgrade. Meanwhile, LSU's guys are experienced and playing well as a group.

DEFENSIVE LINE
Advantage: Auburn
I think Auburn has the SEC's best group up front, but LSU is outstanding as well. Ricky Jean-Francois is a stud. Tyson Jackson is a stud. It's just that Auburn has a lot of studs, too, and has slightly more depth. If you consider both teams' supply, there are at least six future NFL guys playing here tonight.

LINEBACKERS
Advantage: Auburn
LSU's top guy here, Darry Beckwith, is out with a knee injury. That compromises the Bayou Bengals to some degree. His backup, Jacob Cutrera, has experience. Still, Auburn has five guys who are legitimate SEC starters.

DEFENSIVE BACKS
Advantage: LSU
This is a toss-up. Both teams have excellent players back here. I'm going with LSU because of its superior depth. Sophomore S Chad Jones played really well last week and freshman CB Phelon Jones -- a Mobile native -- could be a guy worth watching this season.

SPECIAL TEAMS
Advantage: LSU
Colt David is an outstanding kicker who is locked in right now. Trindon Holliday is a bigger threat than Robert Dunn. Auburn seemed shaky here against MSU. Check to LSU.

COACHING
Advantage: LSU
A lot of people think Les Miles is crazy. He's a risk-taker, no doubt, and that will cause problems at some point. He's still the defending national champion. He's still undefeated. He's still the top guy until someone knocks him down.

PLAYERS TO WATCH
LSU
Charles Scott (No. 32)
5-11, 233, Jr.
Last week: 7 carries for 102 yards, 2 TDs (vs. North Texas)
Scouting report: He's the kind of guy Auburn would love to have. Scott is stout guy who isn't afraid to dole out some hits against unsuspecting tacklers. He's the definition of a physical back. He has more speed than you'd expect from a guy with that kind of body, though he won't be running track for LSU anytime soon. Scott doesn't seem to tire. He's also a dedicated blocker who has nice hands.


AUBURN
QB Chris Todd (No. 12)
6-4, 212, Jr.
Last week: 14-of-26 for 154 yards (vs. Miss. State)
Scouting report: The eyes of Auburn fans will be focused on Todd today. He was signed eight months ago to bring stability to the team's most troubled position. Todd hasn't been a soothing presence so far. His arm strength seems compromised. He also ponders his options longer than coaches would prefer. The upside is that he's a calm player who understands this offense and doesn't make many mistakes. If he learns to make decisions more quickly, Todd could help Auburn's offense progress quickly.

CB Antoine Carter (No. 45)
6-4, 253, Soph.
Last week: 0 tackles, 1 pass break-up (vs. Miss. State)
Scouting report: Carter brings raw speed into the equation off the end. There aren't many offensive tackles who can stay with Carter when he's given clearance to rush from the outside. He unloaded a vicious hit on MSU's quarterback last week and seems able to make that happen at least once per game. His presence makes opponents examine their protection decisions more carefully. That's worth a lot.

KEYS TO THE GAME
Auburn offense
Where shall we start? Every element of the Tigers' attack seemed weak against Mississippi State. The offensive line was flagged repeatedly. Quarterback Chris Todd seemed indecisive and fumbled twice. Tailback Ben Tate fumbled again. While LSU's defense is up to its usual high standard, the Tigers must instead dedicate themselves toward limiting mistakes. Exploiting LSU's weakness -- and they appear trivial -- can happen only after Auburn learns to manage the basic elements of playing football. The good news for Auburn? Those mistakes seem out of character. As such, they may disappear immediately.

Auburn defense
Confidence is high on this side of the ball after an outstanding performance last week. Everything worked. Then again, MSU's offense is remarkably troubled. LSU's attack is balanced, though the team's strength is at wideout. The Bayou Bengals love the vertical passing game, which will tax cornerbacks Jerraud Powers and Walt McFadden. Auburn has the size and experience to clog running lanes against any opponent. Depth at linebacker provides nice run support. Forcing the LSU quarterbacks to make plays in their SEC debuts is the Tigers' basic plan. Auburn players say they don't feel pressure to perform flawlessly because of the team's offensive deficiencies. Still, surely that will be an issue at some point. Could this be it?


Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

Questions? Comments? Post directly to the blog below or email me at jgtate@gannett.com.

42 Comments:

Blogger Brandon said...

Alright, I let your comment last week slide about MSU's QB being able to start for AU. But now you're saying that LSU's QBs are better than AU's? I sure hope once you see them going against a quality AU defense this week, you'll admit your error. I know Todd & Burns aren't the best in the SEC. But they're much better than MSU's and at worst marginally better than LSU's.

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brandon, how can you make that statement. Do you have any facts to back that statement up? Did you not see the game last week? At best Todd is 1 step ahead of MSU's quarterback. How many times have you saw LSU's quarterbacks play? For Todd to be "marginally" better than them surely they are a combined 24-53 with 0 td's & 4 int's right? no, they have 3 td's & 1 int. And that it against comparable competition if you take out Auburn's "win" against Miss. St. Do not let your homer attitude guide your fingers. Auburn's offense is horrible. The only way Auburn wins this game is if the defense shuts LSU down and gives the offense the ball on the LSU side of the field.

8:36 AM  
Blogger Phormerly Phred said...

I have saw them both.

I like your strategy for victory though. That is usually the one that works the best.

8:39 AM  
Anonymous peter frankenschmidt said...

Wait, what about the sooned to be realeased google android phone? Supposed to be iphoneish, but open source, and with some really cool features.


Love your game preview.

8:42 AM  
Blogger Phormerly Phred said...

G Money ... It doesn't look that good for us on paper. What's the key to a win?

8:45 AM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

OK. Wesley Carroll is not having a good season and looked particularly poor against Auburn.

I missed on that assessment.

With that said, Brandon, you're seeing a lot more from Chris Todd than I am. He hasn't accomplished much this season. Kodi Burns, as much as I like him, also hasn't accomplished much this season.

Jarrett Lee: 16-28, 2 TDs, 1 int
Chris Todd: 44-75, 1 TD, 1 int

Todd plays much more, has little to show for it.

I don't mean to sound like a hater because you know I'm not, but Chris Todd -- this Chris Todd with the shoulder issue -- is not remarkable.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Phormerly Phred said...

I know that is in the blog, which was a good one by the way. I meant the one, gotta have it, won't work without it, thing.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

The key to an Auburn win?

Defense needs to play like it did against Mississippi State.

Offense needs to play completely unlike it did against Mississippi State: No fumbles, limited penalties, reasonble play calls/execution inside the LSU 30.

8:48 AM  
Anonymous aubigcat said...

Auburn's offense has not played good and this is a fact. But there is a difference in not playing good and not BEING good. The three major concerns at the beginning of the season were WRs (can they catch and can they get open), RBs (will we still have a running game?) and QB (Who is the QB and can they lead this team).

The WRs are getting open and making catches, the RBs are getting carries and yards, and the QB has not lost a game because of mistakes. All three areas need to improve but the offense overall is not bad. If the offense plays the same way it did against MSU w/o the turnovers and penalties we would crush LSU.

8:55 AM  
Blogger James in B'ham said...

I think that Beckwith being out for LSU may open up some more running lanes for Auburn. It will be interesting to see how his replacement(s) play. I think Auburn has to run straight at the LSU defense - too much speed to try and turn the corner against them.

For what it's worth, a former corn dog turned LSU analyst Brian Kinchen, was on the local FM sports station here in the Ham yesterday. He basically called both of LSU's QBs garbage. My personal opinion from watching them play Appy St., is that they both look average to me, and right now average is better than the play Auburn is getting at QB.

I'm headed down to Auburn in about an hour. If any of you other hotties are in town tomorrow and happen to be in the vicinity of Momma G's, stroll down in front of the credit union and look for some green tents, and stop by and have a drink or two.

Jay, take a look at Sprint's Instinct phone. Very Iphoneish.

8:55 AM  
Anonymous patdyeswildturkey said...

stats,

well i was reading the alabama and auburn preview and noticed something.

Chris Todd has pretty much the same amount of passing yards as John Parker and more yards than LSU qb's. The reason why he is getting so much heat is because he hasnt scored.

Ben Tate has a higher rushing average than most backs in the SEC, he just has not scored alot.

I think once we put points on the board it will all come around.

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a key factor that no one is really talking about is the crowd, especially in relation to LSU's two new QBs. Honestly, when was the last time Auburn lost a home game at night (with a kickoff time at night)? I can think of several more-talented teams that Auburn beat that had much more experienced QBs that LSU has now (like '06 Florida).

9:09 AM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Chris Todd has 472 yards and 1 TDs in three games.

LSU's guys have 402 yards and 3 TDs in two games.

They're well ahead of pace on a per-game basis.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

I hope the offense is able to pick it up this weekend...I think the defenses are a push....haven't seen LSU's offense play a good defense yet, but AU obviously struggled against a good defense last week. Could come down to a FG, but last week wouldn't have gotten it done either. But the good news is it is a different Saturday, and they have 60 mins and 100 yards to get it done...WAR EAGLE.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I agree that these LSU quarterbacks are going to have at least some adjustment problems Saturday night.

Harvard to J-H is a big jump.

9:13 AM  
Blogger AUnMobile said...

Jay,
I try to look at this offense as a "Glass Half Full" senario....i think that Auburn gets the kinks out this week adn eliminate the penalties and mistakes.

Hey LSU still has to prove it against Auburn's Defense also and all things being equal, it's their first start, on the road, at night in the SEC, not a great combination.

Auburn wins the Game 13-10.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still don't think you can blame AU's offensive problems on the QB. Look at the position our offensive line put us in almost every possession last week. I believe we had 3rd and 10+ nine different times last week. How can you put a QB in that position and expect him to perform well. While I do think Chris Todd has his issues (can't make a decision when going through reads and arm strength), I don't think the lack of success of the AU offense is solely his burden to bare. I think the majority of the blame should be put on the offensive line and those damn fumbles. While interceptions are somewhat excusable based on the premise you are moving the ball from point A to point B through the air, fumbles are not excusable. Fumbles occur while the ball is supposed to be securely in the possession of the ball carrier. If our team can't hang on to the ball, we shouldn't win.

On that note, the only time I recall hearing AU fans boo during the USM game was on the fourth fumble. I won't jump on those fans for being upset that AU fumbled the ball 4 times in one game. That is completely unacceptable. I didn't boo at that time because I wasn't there. Instead, I through my nice AU hat on the ground and continually jumped on it using various profanities that I won't repeat.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*threw my hat, not through.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

I think too many people are allowing the failures of the team to clout their judgement of Todd. I'm not saying he's a world beater. But, I thought he helped us more than hurt us last week. Our offensive line was our biggest issue against MSU. That's about as bad as I've seen since Hugh Nall's been here. And also, all 3 of our prior opponents would beat either of LSU's to this point. Don't let those matador defenses inflate your perception of LSU's QBs, just by looking at the stat sheet.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Phormerly Phred said...

I'll catch some heat for this probably, but I think that Prattville vs. Harvard would be a close game.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Phormerly Phred said...

Have you ever seen an Ivy League Game? I've seen better nerf games in the parking lot played by 12 year olds.

10:06 AM  
Blogger Phormerly Phred said...

Also, been meaning to ask this question. Does CTT's reference to the HABOTN name mean he has been reading it? Is he a HOTTIE?

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting stats:

Every AU running back is averaging over 4 yards per carry.

Chris Todd through three games:
44/75, 472 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT, 58.67% cmp%, 10.73 yds/cmp

Brandon Cox through three games last year:
37/75, 436 yds, 2 TD, 6 INT, 49.33% cmp%, 11.78 yds/cmp

They both had one split game with Kodi Burns.

10:28 AM  
Anonymous buck said...

Cool stats.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Phormerly Phred said...

I'm working hard to keep me self from being guilty of overpost. I'm telling you though, I'm starting to get some goose bumps. This game could be WILD.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Loganville Tiger said...

I'm in the same shape Phred - Wild it will be. LOTS of action between the 20's but not much scoring.

I think it will be the Break Out game for the Tigers of AU....

11:27 AM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I'm aiming to piece together another video this afternoon ... just cleaning up the stuff y'all haven't seen.

11:45 AM  
Anonymous buck said...

Here's my O vs D analysis:

LSU QBs/WRs vs AU DBs: Even. LSU's WR talent is nullified by their QB lack of talent and Auburn's up-and-coming defensive stars.

LSU RBs/TEs vs AU LBs: Advantage AU, especially in run situations.

LSU Oline vs AU Dline: Even, but if Auburn's linebackers can force LSU to have to throw the ball, watch out for Coleman and Carter.


AU QBs/WRs vs LSU DBs: Big Advantage LSU. Look for continued Auburn offensive mediocrity in the passing game.

AU RBs/TEs vs AU LBs: Advantage AU. Auburn has to run the ball to be successful, especially with Beckwith out.

AU Oline vs LSU Dline: Even. Strength meets strength, but after this week's tongue lashing by Hugh Nall for MSU errors, AU gets it right.

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Call me cAUtious this week
If the past is any predictor of the future, then we are all in for a wild ride this Saturday when Auburn takes on LSU.

This game has been close for ages with the closest (and lowest scoring) games taking place in Jordan-Hare. For the sake of overkill, time and space, I am going to break things down in a top 3 keys to victory from each team's perspective.

KEY #1 - The team that runs the ball the most consistently will win this game. LSU has a mix of speed and power backs for Auburn's undersized, but very quick and sure-tackling defense to deal with. Charles Scott is a great bruiser with some speed while Keiland Williams is more a speed guy. Throw in the occasional carry for Trindon Holliday and it's an impressive bunch. Auburn's group is anchored by the wide-ranging skills of Ben Tate, the game-breaking abilities of Brad Lester (no official word on how much or little he will play this week) and the speed of Tristan Davis. Of course, running effectively takes great offensive line play which LSU has displayed in their laugher opening games while the Auburn squad has been a bit up & down through 3 games.

KEY #2 - The defensive backfield will be key in this game. LSU has a pair of great wide receivers. Auburn's group has underacheived thus far but are due a breakout performance. Biggest difference between last year and this year is that AU's DBs are playing much better football and making plays when it counts (see Walkt McFadden's circus INT last week to seal the MSU game). LSU's group hasn't been tested yet but show a lot of promise.

KEY #3 - The team with the lead going into the 4th quarter should win the game. When you have teams built on defense, that's what you play to. Get a lead, hunker down, and hang on for the ride. Both teams feature a defensive strategy that allows opponents to move between the 30 yardline markers, but smothers it inside of their own territory. Turnovers always matter, but especially early on as each D will try to put the offense on the short side of the field to make much needed (and probably scarce) points.

If you are a fan of knocked your teeth out football, these defenses have just what you are looking for on gameday Saturday.

All that being written, I have to go with my instincts on this one and say LSU will win. I think it will be very close and entertaining to watch. Win or lose for Auburn, if they can be more consistent on offense against this team, they should do well the rest of the season. But don't get on Tony Franklin's case too much if AU doesn't light up the scoreboard because neither team probably will.

Final Score - LSU 7, Auburn 3

12:11 PM  
Blogger Phormerly Phred said...

Pretty good stuff Mr. Sensible. I think I'm in disagreement of the lead in the fourth quarter scenario. I could be wrong, but I don't think that has usually been the case in this game. Verification anyone?

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anotehr interesting stat:

LSU has not scored a rushing touchdown against AU since 2003. that's incredible.

For the previous post, I'm not sure. LSU was leading in the fourth quarter in 2004 and lost. Auburn was leading in the fourth quarter of 2004 and won. I blacked out my entire memory of the 2005 game and I think LSU was leading in going into the fourth last year.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*I meant AU was leading in the fourth quarter of 2006 and won

1:00 PM  
Blogger AUnMobile said...

Jay,
I agree with PP, I think CTT is a HOTTIE!!!! he's down with HABOTN!! yeah you know him!!!

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phred......Prattville would beat Harvard going away.

AU has to stop the LSU run and ut ressure on those young QBs.

If the offense can stop mistakes, we can score a few points with CTodd. We will probably need Kodi to come in and improvise or as ESPN put it last night in the WVa game "play sandlot ball". Personally I'm really pulling for Kodi to grasp the offense so that he can then run it. Just don't know how long that will take.

I may close down the office...we've got our HS team (#7 in the state) against #6 tonight and great football tommorow.

1:56 PM  
Blogger ron mexico said...

I think LSU's running backs are way better than our running backs. I also think their defensive line is better. The only advantage I think we have is a better secondary. With the loss of Xenon and my former high school teammate, Chevis Jackson (who we nicknamed: Stinky McNoshower back in the day) I don't think their corners have been tested. Not that we could ever take advantage their secondary with chris todd and "the moon ball".

My prediction: LSU 21 Auburn 13

Keep in mind I have been wrong on every prediction this year except for wesley Carroll being terrible, but that is more a fact in my book.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

RM: Live from Leavenworth.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

G-had:

Your scouting report, as usual is good;however, I disagree on two counts. First of all, how do you give LSU the nod in the secondary? What competetion have they played to warrant that kind of respect? AU basically negated two of the best wideouts they will see this year in those of So. Miss. Steltz, Xenon, and Jackson are gone and Powers is a proven commodity. Phelon has potential, but so did Leon Hart. Potential and $0.25 won't even buy a cup of coffee these days. Miles a coaching edge over Tubbs? Not on your life. The guy didn't even know how much time was left in the game last year before deciding to throw a hail mary pass instead of kicking a chip-shot field goal. Does he have guts and the ring? Sure. But Tubbs has sack too and was cheated out of his chance to touch the holy grail. Not trying to bust your cojones, just trying to figure out the line of thought on those issues.....

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Crudup said...

I'd give anybody a QB advantage over Auburn EXCEPT MSU. I stated that prior to the game last week. Carroll is nothing. I'd agree that LSU has an edge here. They have an athletic edge here without Kodi being a factor and they have a conventional edge here. Todd is neither.

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Crudup said...

ron, sweet pic.

5:40 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Les Miles won a national championship last year. Seriously? You think he's obviously inferior to Tuberville?

It's not like Miles won a big game.

He won a big season. Won games over and over and over and over.

8:39 PM  
Blogger ron mexico said...

I think les miles is a moron. It gets covered up because of his team's talent. It should catch up with him sooner or later.

Jay, the national championship thing shouldn't even be mentioned in the tuberville vs. miles debate. We all know tuberville got left out through no fault of his own. Les Miles won one while losing to kentucky and arkansas, not exactly perineal powerhouses. Bottomline tuberville did go undefeated and miles has lost at least two games every year.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

I don't think either coach is obviously inferior to the other. It just irks me when Tubs doesn't get his props. He has managed to get the absolute maximum out of the talent he has had, talent that in many ways is or was inferior to that of the coaches with whom he is compared. Switch the coaches with last year's teams....does LSU lose to Arkansas and Kentucky? Does Auburn win as many games? I doubt it. Anyhow, have a good day on the lovliest village and I look forward to the great reporting!

7:33 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home


follow me on Twitter

• THE RING OF FIRE •
INAUGURAL CLASS
Phormerly Phred
Scottie B. in Tennessee
crudup
Hoopie
Ron Mexico
hip-hopanonymous
AUnMobilz
Sullivan013
Scott from Tucson
scottatl
jhag **FRANCHISE PLAYER**

CLASS OF 2008
Peter Frankenschmidt
Mr. Sensible
WarEagleRK

CLASS OF 2009
eddie4au
FakeSteveJobs (aka FSJ)
AUBigCat
michael
Steve from Columbia (aka SteveFC)
kristina
Jet

WHERE EAGLES SOAR
AUFan365 was Larry Bailey, 1948-2010

FEELING THE HEAT
WarEagleGirl
TarHeelTiger
Kathy
D. Miller
Dear Leader
j-z
Norm
digger4au
Harrison
LuvAU1968
cincytiger
mytommyd (is supposed to be mrtommyd)
ehyoutiger
wtc
IV
wakeriderof87
Sean
Scott Chocolate
NoVaTiger
Taylor
BinOBA
wes
Aeronaut
chip chip
Spongeworthy
Loganville Tiger
E-Bro
Ephemeral
au1n04
FearlessFreep
coosa
bear82
wartiger
patdyeswildturkey
atlantatiger
JD the Biscuitator
shesaid
depressedAUfan
dnatl

NOTABLE NEWCOMERS
Cousin Humpers = Bammers (aka CH=B)
dan dan the AU fan
bellefay1
API
Jay 'W. not Tate'
missinit
Craig Miller
AU1292
MLF
Comm'r of Flesh Wounds
Stupup74
61northak
Jimmy
bigdaddy334
Secondaid
Andrew
SCoats
astatguy
Jason Crawford
paulmain
Lowcountry Tiger
BigEZ
Will
WDCWE

MY PEEPS
Wifey
cpf
GritzNGravy
roundtable
Josh_Moon
MrsFrontRim & FrontRim
ChuckCrim
troyznoiz

FIRST DOCUMENTED POSTER
Buck

BANHAMMERED
Hamburglar
ROLLTIDEROLL
hairydawg
DavidOku
Jay_G (an impostor)
WarEagleogDotCom

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

Advertisement