Auburn-LSU Preview Capsule

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Associated Press

Posted on September 19, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Auburn (3-0, 1-0 SEC) at No.6 LSU (3-0, 0-0), 7:45 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Line: LSU by 17 1/2.

Series record: LSU 26-20-1

WHAT'S AT STAKE

LSU aims to keep moving up the rankings while opening its tough league slate with a victory, while Auburn looks to extend its surprising unbeaten start under new head coach Gus Malzahn and break into the Top 25 with a road victory that would make a major statement for a rebuilding program.

KEY MATCHUP

Auburn's improving first-year starting quarterback Nick Marshall against LSU's talented but inexperienced defense. Marshall, a dual threat who began his college career as a cornerback at Georgia, passed for 339 yards in a 24-20 victory over Mississippi State last week. He capped the performance with a game-winning touchdown pass with 10 seconds left. LSU's defense has fielded eight freshmen so far, but ranks third in the SEC in total defense, allowing 267.7 yards per game, and only 157 yards through the air.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Auburn: RB Tre Mason, an effective receiver out of the backfield who also returns kicks, is averaging 135.7 all-purpose yards per game.

LSU: QB Zach Mettenberger is on an early pace to have one of the best seasons ever by an LSU quarterback. He is the first in school history to pass for nine TDS in the first three games while eclipsing the 250-yard mark in each game.

FACTS & FIGURES

When these two teams — both called the Tigers — have played in Baton Rouge, LSU leads the series 15-5-1. .... LSU has won each of its first three games by double digits and has not trailed. ... Auburn has won 16 of its last 17 SEC road openers. ... LSU has lost only two Saturday night home games since coach Les Miles took over in 2005. Both losses came against No. 1 teams: Florida in 2009 and Alabama in 2012. ... LSU has appeared in 68 straight AP Top 25 polls, the second longest streak nationally, behind only Auburn's archrival, Alabama. ... Auburn has not allowed any opponents to score in the fourth quarter this season. ... LSU has not lost to Auburn at home since 1999.

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