Last week we learned something very important about the Auburn Tigers (3-0, 1-0): They can win by making plays in the passing game if the rushing attack stalls. Oh, and they can, in fact, win an SEC game. In the thrilling 24-20 win over Mississippi State (1-2, 0-1), Auburn was held to only 120 yards on the ground, far below its 300-plus yard average through two games. But when the ground going got tough, QB Nick Marshall and the passing attack got going.
The Tigers relied heavily on the rushing game in Weeks 1 and 2, while Marshall and his receivers tried to establish a rhythm in the passing game. Well, just when Auburn needed it most, the perimeter game clicked. Marshall, who had 339 yards and two touchdowns on 23-of-34 passing, led the Tigers on a game-winning 88-yard drive with less than two minutes remaining, capping it off with an 11-yard touchdown strike to tight end C.J. Uzomah in the final seconds.
What to look for in Week 4: Is Auburn ready to hang with one of the SEC’s elite teams? The Tigers finally got over the hump and won a conference game after losing 10 straight, but Auburn won’t be back to where it wants to be until it can compete with and beat the best teams in the conference. The Tigers have an opportunity to do that and end two other negative streaks Saturday night at No. 6 LSU (3-0, 0-0). Auburn has lost nine-straight to ranked SEC opponents, dating back to an Oct. 1, 2011 win at No. 10 South Carolina. The Tigers haven’t won at Death Valley since 1999, losing the last six on the road to LSU.