LSU Players Talk Preparing for Road Outing at Auburn, History of Series

Ed Orgeron hints at new wrinkles to offense in Finley's second career start
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LSU center Liam Shanahan has only been in Baton Rouge for a few months but has learned all about the history of LSU-Auburn. Between the earthquake game in 1988 and the interception game in 1994 where quarterback Jamie Howard threw three fourth quarter interceptions to headline an Auburn comeback.

Then of course, who could forget two years ago when Cole Tracy kicked a game-winning field goal in the closing seconds to propel LSU to a 3-0 record and a top 10 win over Auburn.

Yes, Shanahan has been prepped and is excited to be a part of what should be another exhilarating chapter in the series history.

"People have talked about it since I've been here that for some reason LSU-Auburn is always a great game," Shanahan said. "It's always exciting, even going back to last year it was a great game and I'm grateful I'm going to be able to be a part of it. We're gonna get their best shot and they're gonna get our best shot."

In the matchup this go around, the stakes aren't quite as high but a win for the purple and gold would vault them right back into the conversation of the SEC West. On Wednesday, coach Ed Orgeron said that quarterback Myles Brennan has not practiced this week and likely won't be ready for the Tigers' matchup at Auburn. 

That means the TJ Finley show will hit the road for the first time and after a great start to his young career, faces some challenges with his first road start on the horizon. While the crowds won't be nearly as explosive in Jordan-Hare with 90,000+ cheering, preparing for a road game is still a very different experience. 

"TJ does a great job preparing so that's what I think it's really going to come down to this week is putting in the same amount of preparation and even more than last week," Shanahan said. "Even in an atmosphere like that, they're confident in themselves and know what they have to do.

"I hope he plays as good as he did in the first game, that'd be good enough for me but we can do more things with the offense now that we've seen his poise," Orgeron said Wednesday. "Now Steve knows he can take it to another step and I think you'll see a couple of different wrinkles that we didn't want to put in the first game."

Last year's LSU-Auburn game was a ferocious back and forth that was the lowest scoring game of the season for the historically explosive LSU offense. 

Running back Tyrion Davis-Price was a freshman last season who received four carries for 22 yards in the win. What he remembers about last year's matchup was the "biggest human beings" he'd ever seen on a defensive line, headlined by Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown. 

While some of those players are no longer on the roster, including Brown who was a first round draft pick of the Carolina Panthers, Davis-Price said there's still plenty of talent. 

"They have a great defense, they have some key players that we have to see how we can get mismatches on them," Davis-Price. "We've gotta stay in the study room and see how we can beat those guys."

On defense, linebacker Jabril Cox notices some of the similarities between what Gus Malzahn and Auburn like to do comparing to what Missouri showed LSU a couple of weeks ago. Missouri coach Eliah Drinkwitz is cut from the Malzahn coaching tree so expect to see misdirection, presnap movement and a heavy focus on the run game from Auburn.

"It's a lot similar play style, Auburn does a lot of belly zone read and they like to lean on the run game a lot more," Cox said. "They have a couple of good receivers on the outside. But we all know it's a copy cat league so they're going to try and pull some things from last week that we missed on so we have to prepare for that."