LSU / Auburn Preview & Pick

Auburn. LSU. No. 4. No. 7. The inside track for the SEC West and a chance to stay alive in the national championship at stake. In Auburn.

Yeah, it”s big. Before the season, I predicted Auburn would win this game. I based that prediction and my LSU season outlook on having lived through the most frustrating 11-2 season in the history of football last year. Untapped potential was the hallmark of Leslie Year 1. We scraped by on talent with really poor coaching.

I said in my LSU outlook that I wanted to see that potential unleashed. And in the first two patsy games leading up to Saturday”s showdown, Leslie and the gang did just that. We”re using our weapons effectively on both sides of the ball. The young O-Line and D-Line have not showed their inexperience; we”ve been able to get significant ground yards with Hester/Broussard/Vincent/Scott and Darry Beckwith has shown the ability to fill our linebacker hole in a very special way.

So call me an optimist.

And while Auburn has done fine in its tuneups (against weak Pac-10 and SEC teams), the team hasn”t gotten out of the blocks in a way that really scares me.

I see things as more or less even after two weeks.

But I”m really encouraged at what I”ve seen out of the LSU coaching staff. Use the talent. Be aggressive and innovative. Dominate.

This is no cakewalk tomorrow. But I don”t expect a blowout on either side of the ball. Nuts in the dirt, smashmouth football should be bleeding through your TV come 3:30 Eastern. On the road in the day”s marquee matchup for the early-season SEC West lead is a lot to ask of any team. And despite nice wins in easy games, LSU is a young, untested team.

Right now is the moment, though, for a little bit of faith. Faith in Leslie is not easy for me to muster, but the signs are there that I should invest some. Don”t let me down.

LSU 13 – 10

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