Sunday, September 22, 2013
Week 4 helmet stickers
By Greg Ostendorf
Auburn was handed its first loss of the season on Saturday. The Tigers couldn’t overcome the nasty weather conditions, a hostile environment and a very talented LSU team, falling 35-21. Still, the performance wasn’t all bad, and it’s time to hand out some helmet stickers from the game.
Tre Mason: After the game, all the talk was on LSU running back Jeremy Hill and his big night, but Mason had a very good game in his own right. The junior running back finished with 26 carries for 132 yards and two touchdowns. Whether it his experience or just the fact that he had the hot hand, Mason dominated the number of carries for Auburn and took full advantage of it. Cameron Artis-Payne scored a late touchdown but had just seven carries in the game while Corey Grant rushed the ball twice. Auburn still wants to try and utilize all three backs going forward, but Mason has looked like the most consistent of the trio. He could see his role expand when Ole Miss comes to town in two weeks.
The Auburn secondary: It wasn’t the best defensive effort from Auburn -- in fact, it’s one the Tigers would like to forget -- but the secondary should be commended. The defensive backs held LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger to just 229 yards passing and one touchdown. Coming into the game, Metteberger led the SEC with a Total QBR of 91.6. On Saturday, his QBR was down to 62.7, thanks in large part to the Auburn defensive backs. Safety Jermaine Whitehead gave the LSU signal-caller his first interception of the season when he picked him off on the first play of the second half. The defense also kept LSU’s Odell Beckham in check for most of the game. The star wide receiver finished with only five catches for 59 yards.
Gus Malzahn: We’ll call it a visor sticker, but Auburn’s head coach deserves praise for what he has been able to do in such a short amount of time. If last season's team got behind 21-0 at halftime, there’s a good chance it would have given up. But not this year’s team. It believed it could win all the way through the final whistle. Credit Malzahn because whatever he said to the players at halftime worked. The onside kick to start the second half went awry, but the Tigers made up for it with an interception followed by a quick touchdown. The Tigers competed against a very good LSU team, and although its difficult to swallow any loss, a 35-21 loss looks a lot better than a 35-0 loss, or worse.
Honorable mention: WR Sammie Coates