Last season's trip to Jordan-Hare Stadium was pure misery for the LSU Tigers, as Auburn raced out to a quick lead and never looked back, resulting in a 41-7 loss in quarterback Brandon Harris' first start.
A matured Harris and his teammates hope to repay the favor this weekend in Tiger Stadium.
"It was a blur, really," sophomore quarterback Harris said. "My passes were high, low, everywhere I didn't want them to be. Communication from my point to the team was all off."
Embarrassing experience last year, right?
"Oh yeah, it definitely was," junior linebacker Kendell Beckwith said. "Left a bad taste in our mouths."
"I feel the same way they feel," junior cornerback Tre’Davious White added. "It's not the way LSU plays. It's not the way our defense plays. It's not the way we prepare. It's not the way any LSU team would ever want to finish. You never want to walk off the field losing by 34 points."
"It’s a game I've marked my calendar numerous times during the offseason, since I've heard about it. I just look forward to going out and showing how much we've grown since that Auburn game," Harris explained.
LSU's defense, likewise, plans to bounce back. The Tigers defensive line sacked the quarterback three times against Mississippi State, pressured quarterback Dak Prescott throughout the night and held the Bulldogs to a measly 43 yards rushing.
Now, it’s ready to hunker down for a steamy Saturday afternoon against Auburn in Death Valley. The defensive line, along with linebackers like Beckwith, hope to build on their solid showing in Starkville.
"They do it to us every day in practice," sophomore running back Leonard Fournette said. "So, it wasn't anything new. I think they had a little more focus. And, that comes a lot from Kendell. He's the man, the peace man of the defense."
"Those guys, they put in a lot of work. If you could see those guys at practice, they work hard. Coach [Ed] Orgeron does a great job of working them on their technique and their pass rush," Beckwith added.
"Coach O, he's really improved them a lot," said junior center Ethan Pocic. "Compared to last year, their get off is a lot faster. As y'all saw, a lot more stunts and stuff. So, they're really improved."
"It's only going to get better from here, because we missed a lot of sacks we should've had," junior defensive end Lewis Neal said. "We should've had about seven sacks to be honest with you. We're going to work on those mistakes and come back even better for this game."
LSU is a 7.5 point favorite over Auburn. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. The game will be televised on CBS.
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