In a national TV slot, No. 9 Auburn travels to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to face No. 2 LSU in Tiger Stadium, better known as Death Valley.
Auburn enters Saturday’s matchup as an 11-point underdog. Auburn’s troubled history in Death Valley can be traced back to 1999, the last time the team won in Baton Rouge. This win prompted former Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville and players to celebrate on the field with victory cigars.
Many are looking ahead to a possible 1-versus-2 matchup Nov. 2 between Alabama and LSU.
“It doesn’t matter what everybody else is thinking,” Malzahn said. “Were taking it one game at a time, were staying focused, were going to get distracted by anybody else’s opinion: good or bad.”
Auburn hasn’t beaten LSU in Death Valley while quarterback Bo Nix has been alive and coming into this game as an underdog wasn’t a surprise to him.
“What do you expect?” Nix said. “You’re at Auburn and nobody really gives you any kind of advantage. Being an underdog, you still have to play the game and they still have to play it too.”
Despite what Vegas said, Nix remained confident in his team’s ability to go into Baton Rouge and compete on a high level.
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According to the Auburn defensive lineman Marlon Davidson, LSU fans are in for a rude awakening if they believe that Alabama is the only team they have to worry about.
“I mean that’s their loss,” Davidson said. “We Auburn. They’ve gotta come through us first.”
Davidson said it would mean everything for Auburn’s 2019 team to be the ones to snap LSU’s 20-year-home win streak.
Vegas counted the Tigers out, but Auburn safety Jeremiah Dinson was unfazed by the news. Dinson was unaware that the Tigers were projected to lose, let alone by double digits.
“I don’t know who made that, but it ain’t got nothing to do with the game this week,” Dinson said. “That’s just facts you know, were just trying to make history this weekend.”
Malzahn and players said the key for success in this week’s matchup is to finish. In recent years the Tigers have found themselves up at halftime, only to come out and disappear during the second half.
The Tiger’s last trip to Baton Rouge in 2017 saw them jump out to a quick, 20-0, lead. LSU came out after halftime and held the Tigers scoreless the entire second half. LSU went on to win the game 27-23.
“Every team’s different,” Malzahn said. “We’ve got a different team; they’ve got a different team and we have an opportunity. Two years ago, we let one off the hook. If we get an opportunity like that again we’ve got to finish.”
According to Malzahn the major thing that the Auburn’s defense needs is to maintain constant pressure on LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. Burrow has been the catalyst for LSU’s offense this season racking up 2,484 total yard, 29 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
“They’re going to be a test, a big test,” Davidson said. “A great offense versus a great defense. You never know who’s going to come out on top of that.”
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