BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU football team simply does not let Auburn win on its home soil.
The hosts overcame a 20-point first half deficit to thwart No. 10 Auburn, 27-23, Saturday afternoon at Tiger Stadium. It’s the ninth consecutive win for LSU over Auburn in Death Valley.
D.J. Chark made 5 receptions for 150 yards and returned a punt for a 75-yard touchdown for LSU (5-2, 2-1 SEC). Danny Etling threw for 206 yards and a touchdown on 13-for-24 passing, without an interception. LSU rushed for 157 yards as a team on 39 carries, with 70 of them coming on a single play by wide receiver Russell Gage.
Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson rushed for 156 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries. Jarrett Stidham threw for 165 yards and a touchdown without an interception for Auburn (5-2, 3-1), but he completed just 9 of 26 attempts.
The Tigers play at Ole Miss (3-3, 1-2) next Saturday, Oct. 21. Kickoff time and TV network haven’t yet been finalized.
Recap the action from Saturday’s game below with SEC Country reporters Alex Hickey, Sam Spiegelman and Nick Suss.
LSU 27, Auburn 23 – FINAL
Auburn turns the ball over on downs at its own 33 when Arden Key sacks Jarrett Stidham on 4th-and-10 with two seconds left. LSU kneels in victory formation and runs out the clock.
LSU 27, Auburn 23
After Auburn turns the ball over on downs at its own 25, LSU runs the clock down to 42 seconds, with a 4th-and-4 at the Auburn 19. Connor Culp kicks a 36-yard field goal to extend the LSU lead. Thirty-eight seconds are left in the game.
LSU 24, Auburn 23
Culp boots a 42-yard field goal to put LSU ahead with 2:36 left.
Auburn 23, LSU 21
Even better than a turnover.
DJ Chark ran backwards, then turned the corner for a 75-yard punt return touchdown that made the home crowd lose its marbles. With 14:33 left to play, it’s a one-possession game and momentum is firmly in LSU’s favor.
END THIRD QUARTER: Auburn 23, LSU 14
The LSU defense has taken control of the game, but the Tigers offense cannot take advantage of that favor.
Danny Etling was just 3 of 9 in the quarter for 50 yards, while the LSU rushing attack sustained very little at all. The Tigers were limited to 17 rushing yards on nine carries, including a baffling designed run to third-string quarterback Justin McMillan that lost a yard.
Auburn’s offense was totally outclassed, gaining just 21 yards in the quarter, but it looks like LSU needs to force a turnover to have a chance in the fourth quarter.
HALF: Auburn 23, LSU 14
This thing isn’t even close to being over, folks.
LSU scored a crucial touchdown with 32 seconds left in the half and gets the kick to open the second half. If the Tigers can score on that drive, the whole complexion of this game changes. Though Auburn has outplayed LSU, momentum is sliding back into the direction of the home team. Danny Etling is 8 of 12 for 122 yards, and if LSU keeps him upright in the second half there will be chances to expose the Auburn defense through the air.
Auburn 23, LSU 14
The Russell Gage Highlight Reel continues to gain new clips. Gage made a juggling 14-yard touchdown catch in the back left corner of the end zone to breathe a little life into the Tigers with halftime approaching.
It wasn’t the most entertaining play of the drive, though. Somehow Danny Etling eluded four Auburn tacklers to fire off a 7-yard pass to Foster Moreau that put some life back into the home crowd.
Auburn 23, LSU 7
It’s becoming a familiar story line in this game. Auburn moves 62 yards on 10 plays, the LSU defense locks things down, but with kicker Daniel Carlson in their back pocket the visiting Tigers find ways to continue scoring points.
Auburn 20, LSU 7
Unable to generate anything between the tackles, LSU used the jet sweep to get on the scoreboard.
First, Russell Gage got the biggest chunk play of the season for LSU with a 70-yard gain to bring the Tigers inside the 10. After a pair of failed runs up the middle near the goal line, Matt Canada called for another sweep, this one to Stephen Sullivan, that resulted in a 1-yard touchdown on fourth-and-goal.
There is life in Death Valley.
Auburn 20, LSU 0
Once again, there looks to be no such thing as being out of Carlson’s field-goal range. A 48-yarder adds to Auburn’s mounting lead.
END FIRST QUARTER: Auburn 17, LSU 0
LSU first quarter highlights: Check back at halftime and maybe we’ll find one.
Auburn 17, LSU 0
LSU had Auburn exactly where it wanted it — facing a third-and-14. But the War Eagles called a screen pass to Ryan Davis, who scooted 52 yards before getting tackled at the LSU 4. Auburn completely exposed Dave Aranda’s blitz call — defensive end Christian LaCouture was the only LSU player within 10 yards of the ballcarrier before the reached the first-down marker and a whole lot more.
This is a through-and-through disaster.
Auburn 10, LSU 0
Things have gone sideways not even 4 minutes into the game.
In a bit of deja vu, LSU was celebrating a pass from Danny Etling to DJ Chark one second only to see Auburn celebrating one second later. Chark fumbled the 39-yard reception, which was recovered by Auburn’s Carlton Davis. Auburn needed just two plays to score as Jarett Stidham and Will Hastings burned freshman safety Grant Delpit for an easy 49-yard touchdown pass.
Auburn 3, LSU 0
Auburn moved fast with a pair of quick first downs, but the LSU defense showed resolve by stopping the drive at the LSU 29. Unfortunately, that’s well within the range of Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson, who hit 6 field goals against the Tigers last year.
LSU-Auburn preview coverage
- Also see: Orgeron makes it clear Guice isn’t 100 percent
- With new roles, LSU corners seize challenge vs. Auburn
- SEC Country’s oral history of LSU-Auburn 2016
Pregame score predictions
Auburn 23, LSU 17
if Auburn can’t beat an LSU team that is likely to start three freshman offensive linemen, including both tackles, it probably won’t win a game at Tiger Stadium until about 2099.
There is one glimmer of hope for LSU in this game, and his name is Arden Key.
Key has not been himself this season after falling badly out of shape this offseason. But his coach and teammates swear he is just a step away from flipping that switch. If it happens against Auburn, LSU unlocks something we haven’t seen all season. — Alex Hickey
LSU 21, Auburn 17
Now that LSU is back to full strength on the defensive line, the run defense and pass rush should be the strength of this team. When you combine that and whatever mystique LSU’s eight-game home win streak over Auburn adds, I take the home team in a close one. — Nick Suss
Auburn 21, LSU 19
Auburn will have to contend with an emotional LSU team. At halftime, Les Miles’ 2007 BCS national championship team will be honored. LSU will be playing again for its season and to honor the legendary players that came before them. Auburn is defeating SEC opponents by more than 20 points per game, but an emotional lift could help LSU. — Sam Spiegelman
Auburn 24, LSU 17
LSU is too banged up offensively, especially up front. Running backs Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams are not at full health, which puts even more pressure on quarterback Danny Etling, who completed only one pass to a receiver against Florida. — Carter Bryant
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