A win is a win is a win, right? One of the central tenants of Delusional Optimism is that wins are precious and therefore, all wins should be celebrated. We do not believe in moral victories, thus we do not believe in moral defeats.
But this was pretty close.
To defend the game, winning on the road, and in Jordan-Hare particularly, is no easy task. Again, this team showed its resiliency by rallying from a large deficit. There is an attitude of never say die which is easy to admire. But how about they apply that attitude to the first half so there’s no deficit to rally from? Just a thought.
438. Auburn’s yardage total. LSU only managed 270 yards of offense which is… well, it’s terrible. There’s no avoiding that. Now, the large yardage gap has lead to the general analytic opinion that LSU was fortunate to get a win, but let’s step back for a second. Auburn outgained LSU 283-149 in the first half, and the team’s fought to a basic yardage standstill in the second, 155-121. Auburn built a huge early advantage in yards, and well…
3. Auburn’s halftime margin of lead. Simply put, you can’t nearly double up a team in yards and hold a mere three-point lead. We go to Poseur’s Law: if a team dominates the run of play but does not turn its advantage into points, the advantage dissipates. So Auburn may have had a near 2-to-1 yardage advantage in the first half, but what mattered was the score: 17-14. You don’t carry yards over.
5. LSU second half passing yards. I don’t even know what to say about that. Sure, Jayden Daniels went down with an injury, but… five yards?! That is cover your eyes awful.
6-15. Auburn third down conversions. That looks decent, at the very least, but its another misleading stat. Auburn went 4 of 6 in the first quarter on third downs, meaning they went 2 of 9 for the rest of the game. LSU’s defense stiffened up and kept forcing punts. Well, actually, that’s not true, because….
4. Auburn turnovers. And that doesn’t even count the muffed punt. Auburn shot itself in the foot with some truly terrible turnovers, most notably an ill-advised Koy Moore pass from the ten yard which fooled precisely no one. LSU scored on a scoop and score and took advantage of good field position on the failed fourth down for another TD drive. 14 points on turnovers, and then the game-sealing interception. The Tiger defense came up huge. Give them all the game balls.
18. Total penalties. Both teams were an utter mess. LSU committed 10 penalties for 94 yards and Auburn had 8 for 80. It completed disrupted the flow of the game, and made it look like what it was, two bad teams engaged in a rock fight.
81. John Emery yards from scrimmage. Emery finished third on the team in rushing yards with 42, though his 20 yard TD run was the run of the night. He also added a 39-yard reception which set up the critical touchdown before the half. All told, he had more yards from scrimmage than Jayden Daniels had passing (80). Now, Daniels missed the fourth quarter with injury but still… that should never happen. Emery had a huge game and while he didn’t amass big numbers, the yards he earned were big at the time.
28. LSU 4th quarter yards. LSU has been great all season in the fourth quarter. And after gaining over 100 yards in the third plus scoring the go-ahead touchdown, this was the chance to put the game away. Again, I realize the quarterback got hurt, but it seems LSU has to play close games. They lacked that knockout blow, despite multiple chances to deliver one. If Greg Brooks does not make a big time play, that’s what we are talking about today.
1. Turnovers attributed to Koy Moore. Officially, its just one. But Brooks took the ball out of his hands on Auburn’s final offensive play, so we all know its two. Box scores lie. And so do players who run their mouths before the big game. If you talk the talk, you better back it up. Moore did not.