Seven minus three equals sweet relief

September 18th, 2006
 

2005.09.01-19.26.59/au-logo.jpgAuburn defeats LSU 2006Saturday’s nail-biter of a win over the Louisiana State Tigers was as excruciating a contest as I’ve ever seen. From the time the game clock ran below 5:00, I was up and pacing the floor. I’d sit down, only to have to get up again when I couldn’t sit still. The game was also one of the hardest-hitting I’ve ever seen. It was a brutal, high-speed affair. Just watching Kenny Irons slam himself into those LSU defenders made my body ache. When the game was finally over and Auburn had prevailed, I felt like collapsing into an exhausted heap. What a game.

Here’s the best coverage of Auburn vs LSU from around the Internet:

Ivan Maisel, ESPN.com, Physical play dominates SEC slugfest:

No. 3 Auburn beat No. 6 LSU, 7-3, in a game that set football back 40 years, and that is typed with a song in my heart.

If you love physical football, this game was for you. If you love a game between the tackles; if you think passes are for sissies; if you think the spread offense is an Al Qaeda plot, you should have been one of the 87,451 screamers Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Let the rest of the nation razzle and dazzle. The Southeastern Conference has officially survived the Steve Spurrier Era with its manhood intact. Auburn (3-0, 2-0) took control of the SEC West against its toughest division rival (sorry, Bama) while gaining a grand total of 182 net yards.

The winning Tigers who emerged from the winning locker room to meet the minicams had smiles as noticeable as their limps. They wore pride as cologne, and it wafted off of them like the $50-a-bottle stuff.

Matthew Zemek, CollegeFootballNews.com, Instant Analysis: Week 3:

In a rivalry where victory is the only thing that matters — and style points are hard to come by — it was Auburn who won, and LSU who lost, in a minimalist football game Shug Jordan could have coached. From beginning to end, the hitting was ferocious, the vertical passing was nonexistent and the play-calling imagination almost entirely shelved. The action was so old-timey that a punter — Auburn’s Kody Bliss — was the MVP. And when the smoke finally cleared, Tommy Tuberville’s Tigers outlasted Les Miles’ Bayou Bengals to gain a September stranglehold on the SEC West.

Olin Buchanan, Rivals.com, Auburn wins SEC West showdown 7-3:

The popular cliché that defense wins championships is as old as your grandfather, who would probably still wear the raccoon-skin coat and sing “Bula Bula” if you’d just let him out of the home on autumn weekends.

But with age comes wisdom, and on Saturday the Auburn Tigers, who may boast the fastest defense in America, offered the sellout crowd of 87,451 at Jordan-Hare Stadium, and millions more biting their nails in front of the television sets, a not-so-subtle reminder that grandpa does indeed know a thing or two.

Tom Ensey, Gannett News Service, LSU-Auburn game harkens back to good ole’ days:

It was third-and-3 from the Auburn 49 with like 11 minutes left in the first period.

LSU shifted into a formation with three receivers tight on the right side, handed the ball to Alley Broussard and ran a student-body power sweep into the teeth of the Auburn defense.

Guys in white shirts and guys in blue shirts collided like the battle scene in “Braveheart.”

Gain of one. Fourth down. Call for the punting team.

After that, you just knew it was going to be that kind of game all day long.

Troy Johnson, Mercury News, Auburn Answers Back:

They played with a stagger in Saturday’s first quarter, when LSU’s defense limited them to a sickly 7 yards on 11 plays. But for a team to separate itself and make the transition from merely good to something else, it must prove it can take a punch or two along the way.

So when Auburn drove down the field and punched the ball into the end zone to start the second half, it served notice that it was willing to swing back. When the Tigers denied LSU twice inside their 35-yard line in the final three minutes, the links in the human chain were perhaps stronger than they were at the beginning.

Ray Glier, New York Times, Auburn, the Top Tiger, Sees Room to Climb

With 66 seconds remaining, L.S.U got the ball back on its 20 and Russell, a junior who has led the Tigers to six fourth-quarter or overtime victories, took L.S.U. to the Auburn 24. On fourth down with 2.4 seconds to play, Russell completed a pass to wide receiver Craig Davis, who was immediately slammed to the ground by Brock at the Auburn 4 on the last play of the game.

Davis lay motionless as the crowd erupted. It was a fitting end to a rugged game in which each team averaged less than 2 yards a running play.

Luke Winn, SI.com, Winning ‘ugly’:

Really, was there any other way for this to end than on a defensive stop?

“I made sure,” Brock said of Davis, “that he was going to have to crawl out of there.”

If LSU crawled out, then Auburn, at least, limped: This game was simply too bruising. For Brock and the nation’s new No. 2 team, though, it’s the good kind of hurt.

John Pruett of the Huntsville Times, Auburn should be content – for now – with an epic victory:

But nobody stood taller than Auburn’s slim senior punter, Kody Bliss, who averaged nearly 50 yards on six kicks and kept his team in the game by continually reversing poor field position, prompting the best quote of the day from LSU coach Les Miles.

“That punter, Kody Bliss,” said Miles, “kicked the dog out of the ball.”

Eric Moneypenny, FOXSports.com, Looking back at a big day of college football:

Props to the fans (for both teams) at the Auburn-LSU game. I’m betting it’s the consistently loudest crowd I’ve seen so far this season. That stadium was rockin’ from kickoff until LSU fell just short. That’s why you gotta love college football. A regular season NFL game with a final score of 7-3 just isn’t going to have that electric atmosphere from start to fantastic finish.

Update: Ralph D Russo, of the Associated Press, recaps the latest AP top-25 poll, writes of Auburn: “The Tigers, who beat LSU 7-3, have their highest ranking since tying for No. 2 with Oklahoma on Nov. 13, 2004 . . .” Wrong, Ralph. Auburn finished the 2004 season ranked number 2, in a poll taken on or around January 6, 2005.

Update: The football page of the Southeastern Conference’s web site reads “Following their 7-3 win over LSU on Saturday, the Auburn Tigers have moved up to No. 2 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Poll.” Uh, not so fast there, fellas. Auburn is still only number 3 in the coaches’ poll, behind Ohio State and USC.




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