LSU at Auburn football

Auburn running back Jatarvious Whitlow scores a touchdown against LSU in the first half.

Postgame analysis of No. 7-ranked Auburn's 22-21 loss to No. 12 LSU:


Flag on the play

LSU's Joe Burrow isn't exactly the most accurate passer in the Southeastern Conference, but Auburn bailed him out twice on the Tigers' final drive.

LSU's most effective play on that series was throwing the ball long and hope Auburn would get nailed for pass interference.

It happened on a controversial third-and-11 play in which Auburn's Jeremiah Dinson got flagged, even though he didn't appear to commit a violation. Teammate Jamel Dean got hit with a flag on a deep throw later on the drive when LSU faced second-and-10 at the AU 39. That moved the TIgers to the Auburn 24 with an automatic first down.

Stop sign

Auburn linebacker Deshaun Davis had another big game for the Tigers.

He finished with 11 tackles, which are a career high for him. He has had 10 four times in the past, including against Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.

Twice on third-down plays, he stopped LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, including once on a sack and another on a Burrow scramble.

Running back roulette

The Auburn depth chart listed Kam Martin as the Tigers' first-team running back, but he wasn't ht eone who took the field first.

Instead, that was 5-foot-7 freshman Shaun Shivers, who carried for 2 yards on the first play.

JaTarvious Whitlow got the bulk of the work as the former LaFayette High School quarterback rushed for 102 yards on 22 carries. He also scored on a 7-yard run in which he waited for a hole to open, then shot up the middle and into the end zone.

Shivers also had a touchdown on a 7-yard run. He finished with 25 yards on seven attempts.

As for Martin, he got two carries for 4 yards.


Rushing offense — C: Whitlow had a big day for the Tigers, but the run game was a slow starter. In the end, Auburn didn't dominate up front as it probably should have.

Rushing defense — C: The Tigers limited LSU, although Nick Brossette got 69 yards. It wasn't the ground game that hurt Auburn late. 

Passing offense — C: Jarrett Stidham threw for 198 yards and looked like a veteran on his one touchdown pass, in which he found a wide-open Darius Slayton in the end zone. But those two interceptions. They cost Auburn.

Passing defense — D: The 71-yard touchdown pass from Burrow to Derrick Dillon set up Auburn for the knockout punch. The two flags on the Bengal Tigers' winning drive hurt, but so did the 9-yard completion on fourth-and-seven.

Special teams — B: Arryn Siposs was solid with punts. Whitlow had a nice kickoff return that he nearly broke. The kick coverage was good. Anders Carlson missed a 52-yard field goal.

Coaching — B: For what it's worth, this time against LSU, Gus Malzahn can't be accused of running on every first-down play after getting a lead. Still, it's puzzling why Auburn couldn't find a way to add to its lead when it got up 21-10 and had the ball in the third quarter.  Also, that fourth-and-one call in LSU territory was miserable.

Overall — C: Auburn continues to struggle with LSU. The Bengal Tigers have won six of the last eight in the series, including two of four at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Sports Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.