After LSU played its most balanced game of the season with its dominant win over South Carolina, it traveled to Auburn and was completely dominated on all fronts.
Auburn had 506 offensive yards to LSU’s 347 yards. Auburn forced three turnovers and scored on all three, while LSU forced one but couldn’t turn it into a touchdown. Auburn’s defense sacked the LSU quarterbacks four times, while LSU, the team with the most sacks in the SEC, couldn’t get to quarterback Bo Nix.
The LSU Tigers fell to the Auburn Tigers 48-11.
Coach Ed Orgeron spoke to the media after the game. Here is what he said:
"Well, you know, we’ve got open the tape. We’ll look at the things we need to get fixed like we always do. We’ll work on getting them fixed. We’ve got to play with consistency. Obviously, we’ve got to get better at a lot of things.
On the run game...
Well, you know, you asked me why we couldn’t run the ball? We tried. We couldn’t block those guys. I saw other people block their fronts. I really was surprised we couldn’t block them. I thought we could run the football. I was worried about our pass protection a little bit. I thought we needed to chip a little more. We gave the left tackle a little bit more help. I knew they were a good pass rush, but I was really surprised that we couldn’t run the football.
On quarterback T.J. Finley’s performance and whether he considered putting Max Johnson in earlier...
You know, he played so well last week. There were a couple throws that could have gone either way. The receiver should have caught it. One was behind. And then, when they were making turnovers, I’m not going to pull him out right away. You can’t keep on pulling quarterbacks in and out like that. So we had to give him enough time to see what he could do. And when we finally made the decision to put Max in, we just thought that we had to go in a different direction.
The defense got stops early on. What changed?
Yeah, I thought we were playing with our cleats in the grass. Bo (Pelini) had a good plan. Our guys were tackling. We’re keeping the ball in front of us. We were limiting explosive plays. Now, we had a couple of busts on the speed sweep, but overall I thought our tackling was pretty good in the first half.
On giving up over 500 yards for the third time...
Yeah, we got to come out stronger. You know, we got to come out stronger, and we got to play for 60 minutes. You know, we always talk about coming out strong in the second half, but we didn’t. We’re going to look at the film. We got out physicaled in the front. Tank Bigsby is a good player. We couldn’t stop the quarterback. He made some big plays on us. And then we let the ball behind us in the fourth quarter. Those are things we can’t do on defense.
What did you see out of Johnson and what do you expect out of the quarterback battle now?
Well, look, Myles (Brennan) is our starting quarterback. That’s clear. If TJ would have had an outstanding game and beat Auburn, then we would have had to discuss things, but Myles is definitely our starting quarterback. These guys are two young freshmen. They’re going to be inconsistent because they’re freshmen. But, you know what? I can’t expect them to perform well when we can’t block. I mean, that defensive line was all over these guys. They’re running for their life. It’s always got to start with protection. So I can’t put it on the young quarterbacks. We need to do a better job of protection.
Is it time to consider reassignments on the defensive staff?
Well, we evaluate every day. I’m always evaluating. But you’ve got to go through a season and give everybody a chance. I look at what we’re doing at the end of the season, and we’ll evaluate everything.
There are tough games ahead. How do you keep things from unraveling?
No, we’ve got to work at the tape and see where we went wrong. We’ve got to continue to fix the things we can. We’ve got to be constructive. We’ve got to be positive and just identify what the problem is and come up with a solution. We’ve got to keep playing. There’s a lot of young players out there. Eric Gilbert played well. There are some young guys that are learning how to play. This is a new team. You’ve got to learn. You come through on the road in the SEC, you better be ready to play. That’s my responsibility. Today, we didn’t start off fast, and Auburn was ready to play.
On if the turnovers deflated the defense after a strong start....
Sure. Sure. I mean, they played well. And all of a sudden, we give up two touchdowns on offense. It deflated those guys a little bit. It shouldn’t. It shouldn’t. We’ve got to be mentally tough not to let that happen. But I do believe that that happened.
On the fourth down attempt...
… We didn’t go for it. What we did, we drew them offsides. It wasn’t a play. It was to draw them offsides. In fact, I thought it was a great call.