LSU v. Auburn – week 1

I think it’s fair to say a whole lot of the SEC West race will hinge on the LSU/Auburn showdown Sept. 20 – and apparently a lot also hinges on whether Alabama’s dehumanizing of Clemson was Bama being great or Clemson being horrible, because Fonzie’s boys absolutely tore it up. And there are questions circling around both LSU and Auburn going in to the game, mostly around both teams’ QB situation.

So I’ll be looking closely at the performance of Andrew Hatch, Jarrett Lee, Kodi Burns and Chris Todd during each team’s tune-up games. And I figured it would be nice to share my observations.

The edge in week 1 is clearly to LSU, even though Hatch and Lee combined to go just 13 for 24 for 193 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. That’s hard to believe, but Auburn’s passing game was abysmal, with Burns and Todd combining to go 13 for 27 for just 85 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Auburn offensive coordinator Tony Franklin has to shelve his new spread attack and beat UL-Monroe on the ground. The War Eagles rolled up 321 yards rushing, but still just scored once on the ground.

On the LSU side, Hatch showed himself to be a decent game manager and a pretty unspectacular quarterback, completing 7 of 14 passes for 77 yards – a whopping 5.5 yard-per-pass average. Lacking both biceps and triceps, Hatch struggled to throw the football more than about 15 yards.

Lee has an arm, but lacks both the experience and the mobility to really perform well in Crowton’s offense. He went 6 for 10 for 116 yards – a healthy 11.6-yard average – but threw a very bad interception to go along with his two touchdowns. Lee will likely improve with more snaps, but it’s unclear whether he’ll ever really be a good fit for the offense. If he can get up to JaMarcus-level scrambling ability, maybe so. But it seems a long way off.

If I thought Leslie was a rational man, I would predict that Lee gets the majority of snaps in this week’s game against Troy, the coaches use the North Texas game as the final trial, and whoever is running the offense best gets the start at Auburn.

Auburn’s situation is a lot more challenging. What the team learned from the ULM game is that their offense is nowhere close to ready for the SEC schedule. For their QBs to be so far behind is rather stunning.

After week 1, I’m liking LSU’s chances against Auburn. We’ll see how things progress this week.

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One Response to “LSU v. Auburn – week 1”

  1. TCL says:

    The Bama question is a big one for me. I hope Clemson is really bad.

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