LSU likes the progress that its quarterback has made.

Auburn is looking for progress from its quarterback.

The 2 sets of Tigers meet Saturday night in Jordan-Hare Stadium with identical records of 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the SEC.







The quarterbacks could be in the spotlight even more than usual.

Jayden Daniels has steadily improved as LSU has won 3 games in a row, but he’ll be making his 1st SEC road start Saturday.

Robby Ashford made his first start for Auburn last Saturday and did enough to help his team escape with a 17-14 overtime victory against Missouri, but he’ll have to do more to defeat LSU.

Daniels is ranked 9th in the SEC in passing yards, but he’s 7th in passer rating and 3rd among quarterbacks (10th overall) in rushing yards.

“Decisiveness is starting to be part of the vocabulary instead of being hesitant, and that comes with knowledge of the offense,” LSU coach Brian Kelly said of Daniels. “(He’s) slowing down and not rushing through progressions.”

As for Ashford, he started in place of former LSU quarterback TJ Finley, completed 12 of 18 passes for 127 yards and ran 15 times for 46 yards and 1 touchdown against Missouri.

“I think Robby managed things well,” Auburn coach Bryan Harsin said. “I think he made some good decisions, and we took care of the football. He utilized his legs, and he made some good throws at times. Overall, his demeanor, his attitude, his approach were real good.”

LSU is 5th in the SEC in passing offense, and Auburn is 12th. LSU in 5th in scoring, and Auburn is 13th.

Auburn is 2nd-to-last in the SEC in yards (376.8), 12th in passing (202.8) and 10th in rushing 174).

“There’s plenty to improve on (on offense),” Harsin said. “If we can get some of the pass game, run game balance going, that’ll help us.”

Auburn converted just 3 of 16 3rd downs last week, and LSU has allowed just 6 conversions on 34 3rd downs in its past 3 games.

Also, Auburn lost starting center Tate Johnson for 6-8 weeks, if not the rest of the season, because of surgery to fix an elbow injury he suffered against Missouri.

Harsin said Auburn would look at a variety of combinations on the offensive line in practice this week before settling on Johnson’s replacement.

LSU has been looking at a variety of combinations on its offensive line. It may have settled on one after inserting Charles Turner at center and freshman Emery Jones Jr. at right tackle.

The offense will get wide receiver Kayshon Boutte back after he was excused from last week’s game because of the birth of his son.

Boutte was one of the top wide receivers in the country before suffering a season-ending injury midway through last season. But so far this season, Malik Nabers and Jaray Jenkins have been more productive among LSU wide receivers.

Kelly is hoping for more “continuity” in the secondary, as Jay Ward returns after sitting out last week and Arkansas transfer Joe Foucha makes his debut after being ineligible. End BJ Ojulari also returns after sitting out last week as a precaution.

Weather could be an issue depending on how the remnants of Hurricane Ian impact the area on Saturday. Kelly said he has coached in 2 games that were impacted by the remnants of hurricanes — at N.C. State and at Clemson.

“Kicking game is affected dramatically,” Kelly said.

LSU’s kicking hasn’t been great. Kelly replaced Damian Ramos on kickoffs last week. Ramos will continue to handle field goals and extra points, while Kelly was noncommittal on kickoffs.

If this game becomes a field-position game, Auburn could have an advantage in punting. It’s 2nd in the SEC in net punting, and LSU is 10th.

But LSU figured out a way to avoid a punting disparity last week when it didn’t punt at all against New Mexico.

LSU is 3rd in turnover margin, and Auburn is 13th.

FanDuel Sportsbook

States: MD, LA, KS, NY, NJ, PA, IN, IA, WV, MI, VA, CT


21+ and present in a state with legal sports gaming. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-Gambler.

BET $5

IF YOUR BET WINS + Daily Boost/Bonus



Auburn’s offense is going to have a really hard time moving the ball against LSU’s defense. That’s going to put Ashford in unfavorable situations and turnovers will happen. Auburn’s defense will keep the game close into the 2nd half, but LSU will win time of possession fairly easily, and Daniels will make a few big plays against a wilting defense.

LSU 30, Auburn 9.