Run and Shoot: LSU trails at half, 17-7

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LSU trails at half, 17-7

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU could very well be watching its national title hopes taken away.

LSU trails Auburn at home, 17-7, at halftime.

LSU has been plagued by turnovers and dropped passes in the first half. Quarterback Matt Flynn completed his first six passes, but finished the half 9-of-12.

Two of those failed attempts were dropped passes by receivers Brandon LaFell and Demetrius Byrd.

Auburn, on the other hand, could not have played a better half of football. The only points the visiting Tigers have allowed was a 46-yard screen pass to Keiland Willams. Aside from that, the No. 2 defense in the SEC has had little to complain about.

For the third game in a row, the much-acclaimed LSU defense has looked suspect. After surrendering 67 points in the past two games, the Tigers' defense has allowed Auburn's offense, which entered the game No. 10 in the SEC in total offense, to gain 169 total yards.

In order to win, LSU's defense must improve dramatically and play the way it did earlier in the season. With a bye week coming up next week, the Tigers need to empty out their energy tank in the second half.

For Auburn, the key to victory is to duplicate the first half. Auburn has won nine of its past 10 games against teams ranked in the Associate Press top-10.

If things shape up like the first half, that streak could extend to 10 of its past 11.

NOTES: LSU receiver Early Doucet, who returned after missing the past five games due to injury, has only one reception for no gain ... Auburn's Brad Lester is the game's rushing leader, gaining 49 yards on 11 carries. LSU's Jacob Hester has only 12 yards on four carries.

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