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Insider

3 Up, 3 Down: LSU 12, Auburn 10

9/23/2012

AUBURN, Ala. -- LSU escaped Jordan-Hare Stadium with a 12-10 win over Auburn on Saturday, another nail-biter in the series that wasn't supposed to be a nail-biter. Here's what we liked, and didn't like.

Three up

1. Sonic boom: Sam Montgomery was in full effect Saturday, eating freshman Auburn tackle Greg Robinson for lunch en route to a sack and 3.5 tackles for loss, including a safety that made the difference in the game.

2. A studly call: Offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa's call for a throw-back pass to Spencer Ware for 33 yards to convert a third-and-4 at the LSU 34 with under 3 minutes left was gutsy. Everybody in the stadium was expecting something conservative, probably a run. Instead, it's a play-fake, roll right, throw back across the field. If it went wrong, can you imagine the uproar in Baton Rouge?

3. Ware them out: Speaking of Ware, the big catch and run capped a night where he rushed for 90 yards on 16 carries and caught two passes for 44 yards. He's healthy and looked as good as he did early last season when he was the "man" in LSU's running game.

Three down

1. Leaving it on the ground: Zach Mettenberger's two fumbles, one killing a touchdown drive, another setting up an Auburn touchdown, is a concern. He's had a tendency to turn it over, especially in the red zone. Will he grow out of it, or is this just part of the deal with LSU's new quarterback?

2. Losing your head: LSU had four personal fouls called on special teams plays and 80 yards on accepted penalties. Les Miles vowed to put a stop to it. So far, it's been a recurring issue.

3. Pressure's on: There's enough figurative pressure on Mettenberger, he doesn't need any more literal pressure. He's been sacked seven times already this season. LSU's defense, so good at harassing QBs, has eight. That tells you the Tigers aren't getting it done protecting the passer.