Auburn and LSU want victory and top of SEC West

Updated: October 24, 2003, 1:16 PM ET

BATON ROUGE, La. -- It sounds a lot like a physics experiment -- the unstoppable against the immovable.

No.9 LSU and No. 17 Auburn meet Saturday for a study in old style football -- power against power.

Auburn has the three hottest runners in the Southeastern Conference -- Carnell Williams, Brandon Jacobs and Ronnie Brown.

LSU has the nation's top rated run defense.

"It's a great game for two teams with our titles," said LSU defensive end Marquise Hill. "If they gain a lot of yards on us we're going to drop out of first. If we stop them they're going to drop. This is a game of good players coming together. That's what makes it so exciting."

Last week LSU (6-1, 3-1) held South Carolina for no yards rushing. LSU, which is also No. 1 in scoring defense, is giving up just 53.3 yards per game on the ground, an average of 1.9 per carry.

LSU has allowed just two rushing touchdowns this season and none since the second game of the season. The most any team has rushed for against LSU is 97 yards on 31 carries by Georgia in a 17-10 loss.

"This is probably going to be our toughest challenge of the season so far," said LSU linebacker Jason LeDoux. "They're going to run it right at us and we're going to run right into them. As defensive players this is what we look forward to."

Auburn (5-2,4-0), which shook off losses in the first two games of the season with a five-game winning streak, is averaging 282 yards rushing per game in SEC play.

"We're going to have to strive for perfection," said Auburn running back Brandon Jacobs, who averages 6.3 yards per carry this year. "We can't make any stupid mistakes against these guys, because they'll take advantage of every little thing."

Finding a place to run against the LSU defense will be a big challenge for Auburn, offensive coordinator Hugh Nall said.

"They've got a great front four," Nall said. "Good linebackers. Good secondary. I don't know, take your pick. They're good everywhere. They're the best defense we've seen this year. It's the best LSU defense I've seen in a long time."

The admiration is mutual. Hill called Auburn the best rushing team in the conference if not the nation.

"They've got three good running backs," Hill said. "One gets hurt they can bring another one in and not lose anything. We know that, but our defensive line, we've got four good guys up there and we're ready to go after them."

Williams became the third player in SEC history and the first at Auburn to score six rushing touchdowns last week. Williams 161 yards on 15 carries and touchdowns of 72, 3, 22, 17, 2 and 6 yards earned him a third straight SEC Player of the Week honor.

Williams acknowledges that he'll have a harder time against the LSU defense.

"This is probably one of those grinding games where as an offense we're looking forward to it," Williams said.

Williams should count on it, Hill said. As impressive as the six touchdowns were, Hill doesn't expect Williams to have a repeat performance.

"That's a great feat for him," Hill said. "But I don't think he's going to be scoring six. Not this time."

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index