No. 2 LSU will face its third top-10 team of the season as the ninth-ranked Auburn Tigers come to Baton Rouge on Saturday.
LSU has won the last two matchups between the two teams and is looking to build on that streak.
“First of all, they are a very good football team, well-coached,” Orgeron said. “We know a lot about them, they know a lot about us. It’s going to be a war, a great game. A lot of those guys that we recruited, a lot of our recruits they recruited, all their coaches, typical great SEC matchup on Saturday afternoon.”
The Tigers defense will have another tough battle with an Auburn offense averaging 36 points per game and over 200 yards rushing. Auburn freshman quarterback Bo Nix struggled under pressure against Florida in Gainesville, but has been consistent for the Tigers throughout the season.
“We recruited Bo,” Orgeron said. “I think he’s going to be a good quarterback. Their running backs are good running backs at Auburn. I think the thing that makes their running game good is their coach, his schemes, his formations. He knows where to hit you. The offensive line, this is a better offensive line than we played last year.”
Orgeron explained that the key to winning this game will be winning the one-on-one matchups on both sides of the ball.
The Auburn defense will present an even tougher battle for a streaking LSU offense. Orgeron believes the Auburn front seven may be the best the Tigers have faced this season.
“You look at a guy like Derrick Brown, who is that big and physical,” Orgeron said. “Nobody that we’ve faced so far has been that big and physical. He’s very, very disruptive. They put him in a four technique, they put him in a three technique. He’s hard to match one-on-one. You have to double-team him.
“Marlon Davidson is good pass-rusher. These guys get most of their rushes with a four-man rush. They can stop the run and play two high safety. They’re very physical.”
LSU will counter Auburn defensive line with some depth returning on the offensive line. Orgeron called the offensive line the most improved position group of the season and they will have another big challenge.
Left tackle Saahdiq Charles will play Saturday after missing the Mississippi State game, while right tackle Austin Deculus will play after suffering an ankle injury against the Bulldogs.
A point of emphasis following the Mississippi State game is LSU’s field goal kicking and where to go from there. LSU was spoiled with Cole Tracy last season and freshman Cade York has had struggles the last two games with a missed field goal against Florida and missed extra point at Mississippi State.
Orgeron said that while some people will leave kickers alone, he will hold York accountable for what’s wrong. That said, he believes it is more physical than mental for York.
“It’s all going to be about technique, what is his footwork, was his timing right or wrong, what was it,” Orgeron said. “He’s going to have to explain, get better at it just like everybody else. We see it’s ongoing skill development.”
Orgeron shut down the idea of giving junior Connor Culp — who lost the job in 2017 — a chance, even stating that he would go for it on fourth down if York isn’t doing well in game.
“No. I’m still going to trust (York),” Orgeron said. “He’s our guy. But we’re going to have a plan if he’s not doing well, we may go for it, put the ball in his hands or Joe Burrow’s hands, you know what I mean? We believe in our kicker and I’m going to stick by him.”
LSU and Auburn are set to kick off at 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday in Tiger Stadium.
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