After a week of change that saw Bryan Harsin bench Bo Nix in a narrow win Georgia State, then fire his wide receivers coach on Sunday, Auburn has had little time for those moves to set in as they head to Baton Rouge today to take on an LSU Tigers team that is finding its stride.
Auburn did not look sharp in the first half against Georgia State, trailing 24-12 out of the halftime break with the offense unable to find the end zone.
But special teams came up big with a blocked punt making it a one-score game before Harsin removed Bo Nix in favor of transfer TJ Finley, who in the fourth quarter engineered a game-winning 98-yard drive to pull out the win. Harsin has not announced who the starting quarterback will be or Saturday’s game.
The Auburn rush defense also struggled in the game, giving up nearly six yards per carry and 267 yards to the Panthers.
LSU comes in having won three in a row after getting handled in the opening game of the season at UCLA. Since that loss, LSU has picked up blowout wins over McNeese State and Central Michigan, before picking up a narrow 28-25 win over Mississippi State in their SEC opener last Saturday.
Since giving up 210 rushing yards to UCLA, LSU has responded by allowing just 222 rushing yards over the past three games, but did give up over 370 yards through the air last week.
Offensively, LSU is paced by quarterback Max Johnson, who has already eclipsed 1,100 yards on the season and has found the end zone 15 times in four games. Kayshon Boutte is his top target, hauling in 24 passes for 309 yards, with eight of them going for touchdowns already.
This will be the 56th all-time meeting between the SEC foes, with LSU leading the series 22-31-1. Auburn was victorious last season in a 48-11 romp. Auburn is just 5-19-1 in games played at LSU.
Tonight’s game is slated for an 8 p.m. kickoff and will be aired nationally on ESPN, with local radio coverage on 95.9 FM of Guntersville.