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Behind the Box Score: Auburn

Not with a bang

LSU v Auburn
How a man falls
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Well, let’s get to the big news and the story you’ve all been eagerly waiting on: a review of the Auburn box score. It’s easy to retroactively apply more meaning to things in the wake of future events, but this does look like the kind of effort that gets a guy fired. It’s not just the loss, it’s how LSU lost. Let’s dive in.

19-171. Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice combined for 171 yards on just 19 carries. NINETEEN. That’s an even 9.0 yards per carry. LSU absolutely destroyed Auburn with its ground game, but for some odd reason, decided to call 38 pass plays (that’s counting each Etling carry as a designed pass, as I don’t remember a single designed run). Fans who had been demanding LSU to pass more finally got their wish, and saw exactly why LSU relies so heavily on its running game. Also, great idea to feature the passing game on a night the quarterback took a viscious blow to the head.

19-26-234. Sean White’s passing line. For context, he put up a 17-23-244 line against Arkansas St. So, White treated our defense pretty much the exact same as he treated Arkansas St’s. Yeah, the defense played great.

6. Red zone opportunities for Auburn. That’s horrible. Auburn scored on five of their trips to the red zone, all field goals. But Auburn has 12 drives on the game, and half of them ended inside the LSU 20-yard line. Seven of Auburn’s 12 drives were 7 plays or more (half were 8 plays or more), half of their drives ended in points, and again half of their drives gained at least 50 yards. The defense got torched, make no mistake.

2. Number of LSU drives that did not start within in its own 25-yard line. And one of them started at the 30. Auburn spent the entire game either pinning LSU deep in their own territory or bashing kickoffs through the back of the end zone for a touchback. LSU spent another game losing the field position special teams battle.

8-68. The combined line for Travin Dural and Malachi Dupre. Each receiver caught four passes, and neither topped 50 yards receiving. Etling couldn’t find an open receiver downfield all game.

8 of 19. Auburn’s third down rate. Auburn was able to stay on the field because they kept converting third downs. Allowing a 42% conversion rate is a poor way to get off the field.

0. LSU fourth quarter points. All season. That’s how you get fired.