Published October 24, 2010 - 7:26pm
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Never have the words “easier said than done” been more true. Last week, every last word uttered by LSU coaches, players and fans was some variation of “contain” or “control”. To win, LSU must contain Cam. To win, LSU must control the ball and keep Cam off the field. To win…well, you get the picture and that picture was torched just like the LSU defense.
It is one thing to watch Cam Newton run wild on other teams. Witnessing what Cam and Auburn did to LSU on Saturday was like watching as someone endures death by a thousand cuts. There was never a quick decisive kill to end it all mercifully and quickly. In the end, the only thing that stopped Cam Newton and Auburn was the clock. Drake Nevis never imposed his will on the Auburn line. Patrick Peterson was rendered to being insurance in case Auburn ever needed to pass. They didn’t. LSU never consistently closed lanes and the defensive ends never kept Cam in traffic. In short, Cam had all the space and time he needed to orchestrate one of the most dominating performances ever by a collegiate player.
On Saturday, LSU became the stamp of approval for Cam’s Heisman and Auburn as a bona fide title contender. The proof, well, here are all the stats you need…. 52 rushing attempts, 440 yards, 24-17. If it weren’t for Gene Chizik showing respect and restraint, it would’ve been 53 rushing attempts, 445 yards and 31-17. For reference, LSU had only given up 558 rushing yards in the previous seven games. Essentially, the vaunted LSU defense was emasculated by Cam and the Auburn offensive line.
Although the score would indicate otherwise, this game was never very close. The QB play for LSU was poor, at best. The receivers had too many drops and the running game was inconsistent. When LSU was able to maintain possession, critical errors killed scoring opportunities. In the second half, Auburn won the game of adjustments and choked the life out of LSU. LSU couldn’t execute its game plan and Auburn did it to perfection. It was a brilliant performance by Auburn’s defense and the coaching staff. Aside from Spencer Ware’s halfback pass, LSU managed less than fifty yards of offense in the second half. Although a great play, that pass exemplifies the horrid state of the LSU passing game. How you ask? Well, Ware now only needs one more TD pass to tie Lee and Jefferson. This loss could be chalked up to many things, but in the end, LSU was “out-everything-ed” by Auburn.
Yes, it would be easy to rehash ad nauseum about LSU’s woulda, coulda, shoulda moments, but it won’t change the fact that Auburn is surging forward towards a title and redemption for their 2004 season while LSU is left licking its wounds. Luckily, they have two weeks to do it. Les Miles and company will have to find a way to exorcise this game from the collective memory of the Tiger players and Tiger faithful. The coaches need to find a way to keep the ghosts of this game from haunting his players as they move forward and he will need to regain the faith of Tiger fans left slack-jawed by Cam Newton. Luckily, the best tonic in the world for LSU and its fans is within reach. Beating Bama. This wonder elixir is easy to prescribe and dose. However, administering it will be no easy task.