<
>

Instant analysis: Auburn 24, LSU 17

AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn got it done in the fourth quarter yet again and defeated LSU 24-17 on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium to remain unbeaten.

Here’s an instant analysis from the game:

Turning point: After being backed up on its own 10-yard line thanks to a 56-yard punt by LSU’s Derek Helton, Auburn streaked 90 yards in three plays, capped by Onterio McCalebb’s 70-yard touchdown run, to go ahead 24-17.

Offensive Player of the game: Auburn quarterback Cam Newton gets a little more spectacular every week. He rushed for 217 yards, and in the process, became only the second quarterback in SEC history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

Defensive Player of the game: You’ve got to have a defensive category for this game, because Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley was dominant. He took the game over in stretches in the second half.

Unsung hero: LSU punter Derek Helton was sensational. He kept Auburn backed up the whole game and was the main reason LSU was able to stay in the game.

Second guessing: What was that LSU was trying to run on fourth-and-6 from its own 30 in the final minutes? In vintage LSU fashion, guys were scrambling around at the last second to get lined up properly. Russell Shepard came off the sideline late. It was a total disaster, and then on top of it all, all LSU could get was a run by Jarrett Lee that never had a chance.

What it means: Auburn (8-0, 5-0) took a huge step toward winning the Western Division title, although it won’t get a bye until the week before the Alabama game on Nov. 26. LSU (7-1, 4-1) isn’t out of the West race, but will need some help. LSU is off next week before facing Alabama on Nov. 6 in Baton Rouge. LSU will need to win out and hope Auburn loses twice.