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First Impressions: LSU 13, Auburn 18

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Terrible game, worse ending

No more magic
No more magic
John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately, this was a stereotypical LSU-Auburn game. LSU never got into sync for the entire game, kept the rowdy Jordan-Hare crowd in it, and that only made more LSU out of sync, and so on. It was an awful feedback loop that just kept getting worse.

Nearly all the wounds were self-inflicted, and it started on the very first drive. LSU picked up a first down, but a holding call brought the play back. Down another ten yards, LSU couldn’t convert, punted the ball away (poorly), and the derp fest was underway.

Danny Etling looked every bit the rookie starter, certainly not aided by taking a vicious shot to the head early in the game that resulted in an ejection.  He went 15/27 for 118 yards and 1 interception. At the half, he had 27 yards passing That is, not good.

Given a chance to bounce back in the second half, LSU continued to make mistake after mistake, many of them unforced. The fourth quarter drives stalled due to an unforced fumble when Etling mishandled a handoff to Fournette, and then the next failed due to a 15-yard chop block penalty on 1st down.

The defense then stepped up by missing tackles and leaving gaping holes for the Auburn offense to run through. Auburn would drive 51 yards on 11 plays, only stalling out once the play calling got conservative and Auburn settled for a field goal. The offense was terrible, but the defense didn’t over themselves in glory either.

About the only thing the defense did well was stiffen up in the red zone. That was the saving grace of a terrible defense day which, honestly, is a bit of a fluky stat. Auburn made it to the red zone five times, and came away with zero touchdowns. That’s not a good thing, honestly, because it means you allowed five trips to the red zone.

Oh, and then Fournette got hurt. Fournette still rushed for 101 yards on just 16 carries, and Guice added 62 yards on 3 carries. But the LSU coaches kept trying to restart the passing game to no avail.

LSU got a miracle in the final second of the game, but upon review, the officials ruled that the snap did not get off in time. It’s hard to complain about that call given that LSU had no business trying to get off a literal last second prayer for a win.

It was a prayer denied for Les Miles. Miles career began on a controversial review of a final second touchdown catch that went his way. Now, it seems the luck, and the friendly review, has run out.