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Stat Watch: Auburn

The fancy stats help us preview the other Tigers

NCAA Football: Auburn at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The stat watch finally had a good last week. After about three rough weeks in a row, it finally rebounded. The stats told us Florida’s offense was still struggling, and now had a redshirt freshman QB at the helm, and this was a chance for the LSU defense to assert themselves. Other than that rough third quarter, they most certainly did. And they also said the Florida defense was a little bit worse than last year, giving the LSU offense a chance to just show up and finally make something happen, system be damned. It wasn’t pretty for all four quarters, but it was what got the job done. Two touchdown and three scoring drives pushing LSU to a win. Now, we shift our focus to those other Tigers from Auburn.

Last Season: A note on these stats: The offensive and defensive S&P+ marks are calculated as adjusted scoring averages and for the situational ratings, above 100 is good and below 100 is bad. Links to an explanation on the various stats here, here and here:

  • S&P+ (Percentile): 92.9% (13th in FBS)
  • Offensive S&P+: 34.6 (32nd in FBS)
  • Offensive Run S&P+: 113.2 (27th in FBS)
  • Offensive Pass S&P+: 109.2 (43rd in FBS)
  • Defensive S&P+: 18.3 (9th in FBS)
  • Defensive Run S&P+: 120.8 (14th in FBS)
  • Defensive Pass S&P+: 110.3 (31st in FBS)
  • FEI: .152(14th in FBS)
  • F/+: 37.9% (13th in FBS)
  • Preseason S&P+ Ranking: 20.7 (8th in FBS)

This Season:

  • S&P+ (Percentile): 94.9 (9th in FBS)
  • Offensive S&P+: 33.2 (36th in FBS)
  • Defensive S&P+: 14.4 (7th in FBS)
  • F/+: 45.5% (15th in FBS)

Auburn is the best team LSU has played so far. I feel comfortable in saying it and the stats do back it up. But while they are a strong favorite this weekend, there’s a way for LSU to win this game. Auburn’s offense still hasn’t quite come around completely. Some of these numbers are impacted by last year, and by a rough game against Clemson. But it still isn’t performing completely like a top notch unit. LSU is going to get more depth on the defensive line back. This game in many ways reminds me of when a highly touted Ole Miss came into Baton Rouge to play a young, frustrated LSU team coming off a big road win against Florida in 2014. Ole Miss’ strength was it’s defense, as is Auburn’s, but it was LSU’s defense stifling the Rebels attack that won them the day. If LSU can do that here, and hold Auburn to around 14 points, there may be a way for them to sneak out a W. But it will be difficult.