Three Players to Watch: LSU Football vs Auburn

Tyrion Davis-Price, Elias Ricks among the players to follow in road outing with Auburn
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LSU will be facing its toughest battle to date, but also a team that is in very similar situation to the purple and gold. Auburn sits at 3-2 and is coming off a win over Lane Kiffin's high powered Ole Miss team. 

Ed Orgeron and company head into their fifth game of the season after finding some answers on offense and starting to figure out some defensive shortcomings as well. But the work is far from over as Auburn's offensive style has created problems for the Tigers already.

Both teams came in as top 25 teams but have gone through inconsistent play this season. Here are three players to keep a close eye on this weekend against Auburn. 

Tyrion Davis-Price (RB)

Davis-Price is coming off a career performance against South Carolina, where he recorded 135 yards and a touchdown. The sophomore running back pretty much split reps with John Emery, who handled most of the first half workload while Davis-Price stepped up in the second half. 

For much of the offseason, it appeared that LSU would be in a three back committee approach but with 229 yards combined, Emery and Davis-Price seem to have taken over the backfield duties, which is a good thing as it allows both backs to get in more of a rhythm. 

"Ty, I'm so glad to see him have success. He's a big, strong, agile running back. John Emery has been one of the best backs in the country. He and Ty work well together," Orgeron said. "I met with Ty last week. I promised him he's going to have the same amount of carries as John. We're going to be equal. Two first-team starters. That worked out well."

While there's competition on the field, Emery and Davis-Price couldn't be closer off the field.

"That's like my brother, we pretty much do everything together," Davis-Price said. "We talk about everything, we're real tight and we're a great, dynamic duo. We complement each other real well."

Damone Clark (LB)

It hasn’t been the picturesque start for Clark, whose offseason leadership helped him earn the No. 18 before the season. It just hasn’t clicked on the field yet for the Tigers’ starting inside linebacker.

This is an important game for Clark, who has struggled at times containing the run. Micah Baskerville saw extended snaps against South Carolina and played well, recording six tackles and half a tackle for a loss.

But Orgeron gave Clark the No. 18 for a reason. He knows the work Clark has put in and how integral a piece he is to the front seven improving its play.

“Damone, it's his first time, first time going out there. He has some improvement to make. The good thing about Damone is I know he will,” Orgeron said.

Linebacker Jabril Cox said that Clark is a tireless worker and that some of the recent struggles he's fallen upon can be corrected. 

"It's all part of the game. Damone's a smart, young player but the last couple of weeks there have been a few eye violations that he's been having," Cox said. "We're just gonna keep working and working hard, just trying to shoot gaps like we did last weekend and improve on that."

Elias Ricks (CB)

Through four games, there have been few standouts in the secondary but the freshman Ricks is quickly establishing a "no fly zone" mentality on his side of the field. Ricks has three interceptions on the young season, the latest of which he returned 46 yards for a touchdown. 

Ricks was one of the many members of the LSU secondary who struggled against Mississippi State, but has seen steady improvement in his game as the SEC season has progressed.

"He's a competitive guy by nature, even after practice he's getting in extra work," Cox said. "With those three interceptions, it's a testament to the hard work he's done before and after practice. 

Terrace Marshall sees what it's like to go against Ricks every day in practice and has been impressed with the level of growth he's seen in a short amount of time. Before the season Marshall said he actually had a conversation with Ricks about his potential and the playmaking ability he could bring to the defense. 

"I had a talk with Elias, I told him he was gonna be great," Marshall said. "I told him to continue to just grind and keep his head down and stay humble. One pick a game, that's 10 picks and that's historical and so I told him to keep grinding and it'll all pay off.