Last week we learned that unlike last season, the Auburn Tigers (3-1, 1-1) won’t roll over and play dead after falling behind early. When No. 6 LSU (4-0, 1-0) charged out to a 21-0 lead in the first half, Auburn could have easily relegated themselves to playing for moral victories and looking ahead to the next game.
Last year, that game would have gotten way out of hand in a hurry. But these are not the same Auburn Tigers. No, despite a myriad of early mistakes Auburn turned it around and nearly caught up to LSU, which held on 35-21. If not for an overturned onside kick recovery late in the fourth quarter, the ending might have been a lot more interesting.
Even though the result was a two-touchdown loss, the bigger revelation is the direction in which Gus Malzahn is steering the program. Namely, back to where Auburn wants to be – competitive with the best teams in the SEC.
The other blatant revelation last week was the fact QB Nick Marshall cannot throw a wet football. The rainy conditions were a big reason why Auburn was so ineffective early, causing Marshall’s to sail errant passes through the balmy Bayou air. Once the weather cleared, his throws starting finding their targets a lot more frequently. Athletic Director Jay Jacobs might consider doming Jordan-Hare Stadium to ensure this is not an issue moving forward.
What to look for in Week 5: A couple of things. Can the Tigers get healthy during the bye week before the meat of the SEC schedule? Can Marshall find some consistency? Will a second reliable receiver step up behind Sammie Coates? Can somebody can tackle Jeremy Hill?