AUBURN, AL (WSFA) - It happened again. Auburn had its foot on LSU’s neck again. LSU managed to slip out of the foothold again. Make it two years in a row that LSU has stunned Auburn, this time at Jordan-Hare Stadium. No. 12 LSU (3-0, 1-0) drilled a field goal in the final seconds of the game to down No. 7 Auburn (2-1, 0-1) 22-21.
It was a rough start to the day for junior quarterback Jarrett Stidham. Two interceptions loomed over his day, including one on the second play of the game. That turnover was turned into points.
LSU used the short field to its advantage, pushing 34 yards in nine plays, chewing four minutes of game time in the process. The drive ended with a Clyde Edwards-Helaire touchdown run out of the Wild Tiger formation on the 1 yard line.
The first part of the game just didn’t go the way the Auburn Tigers offense and Gus Malzahn wanted.
Later on in the first quarter Auburn had moved the ball into the red zone but came away with zero points. LSU stopped Auburn on both 3rd and 4th and short. LSU’s defense had come to play, but so had Auburn’s.
Auburn’s defense kept Auburn’s offense in the game long enough to provide a spark. LSU missed a 52-yard field goal and punted on three of its six possessions in the first half of the game.
Still LSU managed to knock through a field goal to take a 10-0 advantage in the second quarter.
Auburn’s offense kicked into gear after that, scoring 14 unanswered points to end the half.
Auburn scored on its opening possession of the third quarter too, making it 21 straight unanswered points. The Auburn Tigers looked like they had found their stride. They were ready to pull away from LSU, until they didn’t. They stalled out.
In last year’s second half of Auburn’s 27-23 loss, Auburn only managed a little over 70 yards and punted or turned the ball over on downs on all of its possessions.
Saturday it was déja vu. After Auburn’s initial touchdown drive that went 55 yards, Auburn’s final five drives went as follows: punt (1 yard), interception (17 yards), missed field goal (55 yards), punt (11 yards), punt (5 yards).
Through it all, Auburn still had a shot. LSU broke into Auburn’s 21-straight points scored with a field goal but Auburn still held a 21-13 lead. Auburn carried that lead from the 3:58 mark in the third quarter into the fourth quarter until the near-8 minute mark.
One play. That’s all it took. One play shifted the mood inside Jordan-Hare. It was LSU’s first play of the drive following an Auburn punt.
Quarterback Joe Burrow perfectly placed a pass over the outstretched arms of Auburn linebacker DeShaun Davis and into the arms of Derrick Dillon. Dillon did the rest, outrunning several Auburn defenders - and keeping his balance along the sideline - for the 71-yard score.
The score made it 21-19. LSU attempted to go for the two-point conversion to tie the game but couldn’t convert. Auburn still had the lead but didn’t have the momentum.
Auburn went three-and-out on its next (final) drive before LSU would eat up the final 5 minutes and 38 seconds.
Even then, though, Auburn still had a shot. They had the lead and just needed one stop. On 3rd and 11 with 4:49 to play, Burrow attempted to float another pass to one of his receivers, It was not successful, but a flag was thrown. Defensive pass interference was the call and it had kept LSU’s drive alive.
LSU again faced another third down with 4 minutes remaining, but Burrow found Dee Anderson for eight yards over the middle to convert.
On the next series of plays, Auburn had pushed LSU to fourth down after tackling Burrow in the backfield on third down. 4th and 7 was the down and distance but Burrow was able to convert, finding a receiver for nine yards.
With LSU now on the fringe of field goal range the game’s second biggest play happened. Auburn was hit with another defensive pass interference call. The call placed the ball on the Auburn 21 - well within range of a field goal.
Auburn used its final timeout with 28 seconds to play. LSU used one of its timeouts with 2 seconds, setting up the game’s biggest play.
Cole Tracy split the uprights as time expired, securing the win for LSU and ensuring that he’d - in fact - crushed the heart of every Auburn fan in and around Jordan-Hare Stadium. LSU had scored both the game’s first 10 points and its final 12 points.
The loss snaps a 13-game home winning streak Auburn started back in 2016 - an 18-13 win over LSU. It also snaps Auburn’s streak of five-consecutive wins at home over a ranked opponent.
Auburn will look to even its conference record when the Arkansas Razorbacks enter Jordan-Hare Stadium for a 6 p.m. showdown.