21 unanswered points carried LSU to a 21-17 victory over Auburn at Joran-Hare Stadium.
The win puts LSU at (4-1) on the season and marks their fourth straight victory. Auburn falls to (3-2) after holding a 17-0 lead late into the second quarter.
Tigers quarterback Robby Ashford showed flashes of potential when he opened up scoring. Ashford scrambled right and launched it 53 yards in the air to Ja’varrius Johnson. The first passing touchdown all season and the first for the redshirt freshman.
“ We got off to a fast start and did some good things,” Auburn coach Bryan Harsin said. “Robby threw the ball well, and our guys practiced hard all week and played well.”
Ashford would come up big again, this time with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Camden Brown. Auburn looked very much in control until, with 6:33 left in the second quarter, Ashford would fumble after being mauled down by LSU rusher B.J. Ojulari. Corner Jay Ward would recover and take it into the endzone, cutting the game to 17-7.
The following LSU offensive drive would see questionable time management from Harsin when he called timeouts with only 1:56 left on the clock. With the extra time, LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels would drive 77 yards down the field and cap it off with a one-yard rushing touchdown to tighten the score to 17-14 heading into the half.
LSU would come out in the second half, driving seven plays topped off with a 20-yard touchdown run from running back John Emery Jr.
The second half wouldn’t fare well for Auburn as their offense wouldn’t advance the ball much up the field, and when they had a drive heading deep into LSU territory, Harsin had a play call that he might scrap out of the playbook.
Receiver Koy Moore motioned from the left side of the line on what looked like a jet sweep but attempted a pass to no one but LSU defender Harold Perkins Jr in a turn of events.
Late in the fourth quarter, still a one-possession game, LSU would punt the ball with 5:31 left on the clock. Returner Keionte Scott, who had muffed the opening kickoff, muffed the punt and gave LSU back the ball deep in Tiger territory.
The muffed punt sealed the Tigers’ fate, or so you would have thought until, two plays later, Emery fumbled, giving Auburn life.
Running back Tank Bigsby would find new energy and began the drive with a solid 23-yard burst up the middle. However, the run from Bigsby would be the only positive as a few plays later, Ashford would force a pass picked off by Greg Brooks Jr., finally sealing the game for LSU.
“The second half is an area where we know we have to improve,” Harsin said.” The tale of the game comes down to the turnovers, we put the ball on the ground too many times, and they won the turnover battle.”
Auburn travels next week to face the No.1 ranked team in the country, Georgia, in Athens.