Robert Hopkins (@LSUSDS) is the writer for Saturday Down South’s Calling Baton Rouge. You may remember him from the summer edition of this series. He's the one you hated. You'll probably hate him just as much after this one, too. Robert is a lifelong LSU fan and a healthy contributor to the over the top fanaticism that is SEC football. He hails from New Orleans and will be stopping by the WarBlogle tailgate this weekend if you'd like a little meet and beat.
1. Has LSU played a game yet, other than those scrimmages against JV teams?
At least they didn’t take LSU to overtime.
2. Seriously though, how much can we read into a lot of points scored against lowly teams such as Idaho? And giving up 14 to the Vandals? What's up with that?
I believe a lot of it has to do with focus and a lot of underclassmen seeing playing time in the secondary and at the linebacker positions. Also, some of the scores were due to poor field position due to turnovers…which are a lack of focus as well. Regardless, it must be fixed before entering the ring with a hungry Auburn team.
3. How worried are you about LSU making their first road trip and playing their first SEC game this weekend?
I am worried about making my tee time at Grand National on Friday. Other than that, no worries. Seriously though, I do think that playing at Auburn will present some unique challenges. Many LSU players will be getting their first taste of the SEC and doing it away from home. This along with Auburn looking for some revenge over last year’s drubbing could make things interesting.
4. Is one LSU fan worried about the purple Tigers leaving Jordan-Hare Stadium with a loss?
Yes, the one guy who just woke up from a coma. He thinks Bo Jackson is still playing and Mike Archer is the coach of the Bayou Bengals.
5. How much of a difference will the loss of the five academically ineligible players and Alfred Blue make?
It makes a huge difference, particularly on defense. Les has had to get plenty of snaps to a lot of freshmen to build up the quality of his depth. On defense, they appear to be remarkably talented, however, three home games at Tiger Stadium will not fully prepare the new guys for a conference road game, especially at Jordan Hare. The environment is going to be loud and nasty, as it should be.
As for Blue, yes it is a significant loss. On almost any other team in the country, it would possibly be a season killer. It would certainly be a championship dream crusher. Yet, LSU has an overstocked arsenal of WMDs at the running back position. Ford, Hilliard, and Ware are all proven and are just as talented as Blue. Also, don’t forget about newcomer, Jeremy Hill. Miles is extremely high on the freshman, who has shined in practice and limited action thus far.
6. Are there any surprising newcomers that Auburn fans should be worried about?
Don’t know about the fans, but Kiehl Frazier should be worried about true freshman Jalen Collins. Collins was pegged by John Chavis to replace Tyrann Mathieu and he hasn’t disappointed. Collins has two interceptions to go with four passes broken up.
7. What matchup do you think may give LSU the most trouble?
I think the twelfth man will give LSU the most trouble. This will be the first time Mettenberger will be playing in front of a large, hostile crowd. This could lead to some pre-snap errors, as well as offside and delay of game penalties. Auburn’s defense will need that help this week.
8. What's your prediction/analysis for the game?
Still standing by 34-7. Auburn’s defense has not shown me any improvement from last year. In the SEC, the Plainsmen are 13th in total defense this year. LSU leads the SEC in rushing with almost 6 yards per carry while claiming the four spot in total offense. The War Eagles are last in the SEC in defending the run. This isn’t the game for improvement to occur and a week of practice won’t cure the issues Auburn has in the fourth quarter…where it has been outscored 31-3.
9. Where will Auburn and LSU end up this season?
LSU has a chance to end up in Miami or New Orleans. Auburn, if it doesn’t turn things around on both sides of the ball, could be sitting at home (for only the second time in a decade).
10. Lastly, do you bathe in batter or is the corndog smell with you from birth?
It’s actually injected when Louisiana children get their immunizations.