In a game that will come down to who wins in the trenches, LSU’s offensive and defensive lines need best performance to date
This version of LSU-Auburn will once again come down to which team can win in the trenches. The Bayou Bengals and Auburn each have hectic defensive front lines that will try to control the line of scrimmage right out of the gate.
For LSU, that means a number of different groups will have to work in cohesion for this team to pull out a win in Death Valley. Here are three players who will be instrumental to team success Saturday night.
Ed Ingram (G)
Ingram is more of a representation of this entire offensive line, which should be getting back to full strength very shortly. Cam Wire and Charles Turner are both expected to be available, giving this group some much needed depth. Auburn enters this game as one of the nation’s best at getting in the backfield, totaling 42 tackles for a loss in the first four contests of the season.
LSU has been consistently one of the worst run blocking units in the country but has made some small steps in the right direction with its pass blocking. It wouldn’t be a bit surprising to see as many as six blockers out there for a given play, whether it be an extra tight end or utilizing the running back as a blocker.
That has simply been the best way to give quarterback Max Johnson the necessary time and for the weapons to make plays the last two weeks.
“The offensive line has played our best game in terms of all being together,” Ingram said Tuesday. “I feel like it’s only up from here. We are starting to mesh with his [Coach Brad Davis] style of coaching. I feel like we’re all building that chemistry and starting to have each other’s back.”
Jaquelin Roy (DT)
Roy has been one of the more lehal inside disrupters in the SEC since the start of the season, enjoying a breakout sophomore campaign along the way. His ability to force his way into the backfield has really helped this defensive line thrive and lead to a nation leading 43 tackles for a loss.
Just by himself, Roy has racked up 13 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss, 0.5 sacks and a forced fumble. The stats don’t jump off the page but he is consistently putting himself in prime positions for either him or his teammates to make the necessary plays in the backfield. Facing an Auburn rushing attack that’s one of the best in the country, Roy will need to be at his best.
It’s likely that LSU sends four and five man rushes to help keep the run game at bay and clogging up as much of the middle as possible will help in shutting down Tank Bigsby. A year ago Bigsby rushed for 71 yards and two touchdowns and the lack of pressure up front was a big reason why.
“We know they’re a run heavy team, they have a tough quarterback so the run game is something we’re gonna have to stop,” edge rusher Ali Gaye said. “It’s like everybody says first you gotta stop the run then have some fun. That’s something we’ve done a pretty good job of but it’s something we have to continue to do a good job of. This is a tough matchup, Auburn is a good team, talented players.”
Dwight McGlothern (CB)
With part of shutting down the Auburn offensive running attack being to rush four or five guys, the LSU secondary will once again be on high alert in this contest. It’s not expected that Derek Stingley Jr. will be ready to play for a while and McGlothern makes the most sense to continue starting opposite Elias Ricks on the outside.
McGlothern not only held his own during his return to the field, he excelled in the gameplan against Mississippi State by recording five tackles, keeping everything in front of him. It’s his coverage abilities that will be put to the test this weekend against Auburn and it’ll be up to him as well as Cordale Flott and Jay Ward to help Ricks pick up the hole left behind Stingley’s injury.
“I’m not surprised Dwight went out there and played the way he did,” linebacker Damone Clark said. “He’s been doing that since he got here and he was actually having a good camp before he got hurt. Cordale is another guy who just comes to work everyday and takes on the challenge to get better.
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