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The LSU recap, half the second

Auburn LSU Football
Sigh.

We’re picking up where we left off. I’ll try my best to keep this as quick and painless as possible.

THIRD QUARTER

–Auburn “kicks off” the second half with a pooch kick fielded by one of the LSU up-men at the home team’s 36. The LSU up-man then returns it 19 yards straight up the field into Auburn territory. It’s almost kind of funny, if you think about it. And are intoxicated.

— 3rd-and-8 conversion when Thorpe can’t react to a looping ball to Trindon Holliday (Coleman providing pressure–he’s been much better the last two weeks) and on the very next play, Lafell badly beats McFadden on an endzone jumpball. 24-0. The competitive section of this game is over.

Now of course Auburn gets going: Tate picks up 28 yards on three consecutive carries, Fannin adds 4, Todd finds an open Smith for 17, Tate picks up 3, and hey, Auburn’s actually got 2nd-and-goal on the LSU 4. Burns is in; if this was early in the season, he’d run three straight times and pound in for a TD.

Now, though, the second-down run is a loss for 3, and the third down pass from Todd is dropped by Adams at the 1. Oh well. Byrum hits the chippie and it’s 24-3.

— 31-yard (perfect, sigh) pass to Rueben Randle gets LSU to Auburn’s 25, but Carter snuffs out a reverse to set up 2nd- and 3rd-and-long and LSU has to punt. Auburn takes over at the 7, and hell, a score on this possession might actually make things kind of interesting.

— I’ll be damned: 3rd-and-3, and Todd completes a short pass into the flat to Smith to earn an easy first down. Why has this been so hair-pullingly difficult the last two weeks? What did Auburn and LSU each do differently here that allowed Auburn to do something they haven’t done in their last dozen similar attempts? Seriously, I’m curious. Somebody find out for me.

— It’s not a “school mantra” Chizik’s teaching the players, Jones, it’s a Creed. They’re playing football, not doing yoga. You, you … IDIOT.

Sorry. It’s been a long game already.

— So two Fannin rushes net 27 yards and a Tate rush for 7 sets up 3rd-and-4 on LSU’s side of the field, and if Todd could convert one short third down on this drive, there’s no way he converts two, and there goes the downfield pass floating over Zachery’s head and well out-of-bounds. Two things:

1. Gus, at least half of these 3rd-and-medium situations ought to be draws the way Todd is playing. This one, for one example. This should have been a draw.

2. Chris, just throw a jumpball and pray our guy gets it. You’re down 24-3. If it gets picked, it gets picked. Throwing it six yards out-of-bounds does nothing for us.

And speaking of playing with nothing-to-lose down 21 points late in the third quarter, why the hell is Auburn punting? I’m hoping Durst’s (once again) terrible punt–19 yards, out at the [string of expletives deleted] 25–is a secret punishment he’s inflicting on the coaches for willingly giving up the ball here. If this was a close game, flipping the field position would have made this a very successful drive–but it’s not. This was TD or bust.

Oh well, it’s not like it matters all that much at this point.

— And hey, there’s a 69-yard run by Russell Shepard to demonstrate why. 31-3. So it goes.

— The only item of interest remaining in this game is if there’s any sign of life in the Auburn passing game. 2nd-and-17: no one open. Sack. So not yet.

FOURTH QUARTER

— LSU gets all methodical and drives to the Auburn 25 before a Toro sack (and de-helmeting of Jefferson) pushes them into a 52-yard field goal. It bounces back off the crossbar to an audible “Awwww!” from the crowd. Shame–that would have been so thrilling if this had been a close game.

— Passing game check: incomplete short hop to Fannin on 2nd-and-8, timeout, jailbreak in pass protection, sack. Not yet.

— Durst boots it 58 yards, Etheridge downs it at the 2. It makes no sense for Durst to be capable of downing the ball inside the 20 punting from 60 yards away and incapable punting from LSU’s side of the field.

— Why is LSU passing on second down. Seriously. Though I guess they make up for it running on 3rd-and-9.

— Neil Caudle takes over for Auburns’ final drive of the game. After Fannin makes a couple of solid runs, he hits Blake on a crossing route; after one de facto throwaway, he hits Benton in the hands on an out … dropped. (DeAngelo, buddy, your drops are now badly outnumbering your receptions. C’mon.) 3rd down, he scrambles and flips it to Lutzenkirchen, who makes a nice snag and cuts upfield to the 2. Too bad all of this is coming against the LSU scrubs; it’s still impossible to have any read on how he’d fare vs. the starters. But he doesn’t look bad, that much we can say.

— Well, this is interesting: Chizik calls timeout with 8 seconds remaining to set up for a shot at the end zone, and Miles responds by reinserting his starters. I’m fine with that, we all know it’s a point of pride to keep the opponent out of your end zone at home … but the LSU starting defenders going ballistic to get themselves and the crowd amped up for a stop of Neil Caudle and Co. at the end of a 31-3 game is, for lack of a better word, stupid-looking.

Caudle play-action, hits Lutzenkirchen, TOUCHDOWN. 31-10. Three seconds left. Hahahahaha.

— Davie sounds personally affronted that Auburn would throw to score rather than have our gassed offensive line try to shove around LSU’s rested defensive starters. Dear Mr. Davie Sir: We, the football fans of Auburn University, politely request that you Die in a Fire at your earliest convenience. Thank you. Sincerely, Us

— Game over. Now let us never speak of this again.

(Until the analysis post, anyway. That’s tomorrow.)

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