Look, I don’t want to write this and you don’t want to read this, so let’s just get it over quickly.
Auburn looked like the team of the last month in the first quarter at LSU. Everything worked. Auburn looked elite. LSU looked stupid. It was all good.
Then Auburn admittedly went conservative, and as much as you want to hate it, it should’ve worked. Yes, Auburn should always try to score points. But when you’re up 20 on the road at a place you haven’t won at since 1999, the idea to keep it a little safe isn’t the craziest thing in the world.
As I said, it should’ve worked. Auburn’s offense scored 17 points in the first quarter and 6 points in the 2nd quarter. That’s 23 points. LSU’s offense scored 14 points in the 2nd quarter (if only that pick was actually picked and those two cameras weren’t in exactly the right/wrong places), and 6 points in the 4th quarter. That’s 20 points. Auburn’s explosive then extremely conservative offense did enough.
But that punt return.
I won’t talk about the one obvious block in the back or the two borderline blocks in the back that gave the returner an easy trek towards the goal line. But that is the reason LSU won. You can try to get deep and said it should’ve never gotten to that point. But that doesn’t matter. Without that touchdown, that shouldn’t have happened, Auburn would likely be sitting at 6-1 and hateful people would be complaining about playcalling in a win.
But it happened. Because that’s Baton Rouge. Les Miles sold his soul to something voodoo-related long ago, he was in the stadium Saturday, and it happened again.
Auburn is good enough to beat LSU by 30. They could have and should have. But a conservative approach that was working was foiled by a special teams score. It shouldn’t have come to that, and nobody was expecting it to, but it did.
There is still everything to play for. Auburn has one SEC loss. LSU has the tiebreaker, but they will lose to someone like Ole Miss or Arkansas and make you bang your head into a wall. And they’ll lose to Alabama 9-6. But this game is over and the season is not.
It’s not the end of the world, literally. It’s not.