Everything was perfect in Auburn’s 40-17 win over Georgia. Jarrett Stidham accounted for four total touchdowns, Kerryon Johnson rushed for 167 yards, the Auburn defense sacked Jake Fromm four times, and Daniel Carlson hit all four of his field goal tries.
Now, they have to come back down to earth. The good news is they’ll play what shouldn’t amount to more than a tune-up against a 4-5 Louisiana-Monroe team.
Just when they need to be, the Tigers are playing their best football. With their SEC title and playoff hopes still very much alive, they have everything to play for against Alabama. Hopefully, however, that doesn’t mean they’ll sleepwalk against the Warhawks.
|NEXT OPPONENT||ARKANSAS STATE RED WOLVES|
|GAME TIME||12:00 PM ET|
Tigers Key Player
JEFF HOLLAND, DEFENSIVE END
Sensei Mud has nine sacks, leaving him just 2.5 short of the Auburn singles-season record. He was nothing short of dominant against Georgia, posting five tackles, a sack, and a tackle for loss as Auburn’s defensive line terrorized Jake Fromm all afternoon. He’s been the most explosive pass rusher on a defense that has tallied 31 sacks on the season.
Louisiana-Monroe’s offense has been pretty explosive, averaging 37 points and 475.8 total yards per game, but the Auburn defense should limit the Warhawks to minimal long gains, and it all starts up front with the defensive line. Depending on how long he’s even in the game, Holland could have a huge game against an outmatched offensive line.
Warhawks Key Player
CALEB EVANS, QUARTERBACK
The sophomore quarterback has posted good numbers so far (230.6 yards per game, 12 touchdowns, three interceptions, 65.1 completion percentage), but he hasn’t faced a defensive line anywhere close to the caliber of Auburn’s.
With the Auburn defense following up on its best game of the season, it’ll be up to Evans to get the ball out before the rush gets to him and keep the chains moving. Louisiana-Monroe has a bottom-ten defense in the nation (seriously), so he’ll need to play his best game to give the Warhawks even a chance of keeping pace with Auburn.
Game Preview and Analysis
Unless Auburn suffers a sever hangover from its biggest win in over three years, this game should be over by halftime. While the Tigers did struggle through five turnovers in a 24-10 win over Mercer, its last non-conference opponent, they’ve improved greatly in the weeks since, and it’s unlikely that Auburn will lose focus now.
Auburn will follow the same script it did in its early conference wins — score first, make a stop, score again, make another stop, score again, and coast to the win. If the Tigers build an early 21 or 17-point lead in the first quarter, we might see Kerryon Johnson’s day end early.
The junior tailback is now leading the SEC in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns despite only playing in eight games. The coaches likely won’t want to keep in the game any longer than they have to, so game flow will almost certainly dictate his playing time.
Just to make something perfectly clear: Auburn will not lose this game. Even if the defense plays a sloppy early game, the Tigers offense should have no problem moving the ball on a Louisiana-Monroe defense that gives up 37.9 points and 505.3 total yards per game.
Jarrett Stidham and the offense should be in attack mode early, in hopes of carrying over their momentum from the 40 points and 488 total yards they hung on Georgia. There’s always a danger of looking ahead to Alabama, but based on his track record, Gus Malzahn should have his team ready to play, even though the Warhawks are far less talented.
Auburn should earn its ninth win of the season on Saturday.