It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since people completely lost their minds leading up to the year 2000. All anyone wanted to talk about was Y2K and how everything was going to “shut down” at the stroke of midnight.
Speaking of two decades ago, “SpongeBob SquarePants” premiered in May of that year. To be honest, I’ve never actually seen a single episode, but I’m told millions of warped people love it.
Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France 20 years ago. He went on to win six more titles and be considered the greatest cyclist to ever live. Of course, he was apparently doping for the majority of his career and was stripped of all titles in utter disgrace. Sorry, that one is kind of a downer.
Sixteen years after “Return of the Jedi,” George Lucas debuted a new Star Wars film with the prequel, “The Phantom Menace.” It was one of the most highly anticipated movies ever released and predictably disappointed most fans.
Haley Joel Osmond saw dead people (SPOILER ALERT) including Bruce Willis in “The Sixth Sense” and Cher’s “Believe” was the top song of the year. It was 1999.
This little stroll down memory lane actually has a purpose.
As you’ve already heard and you’ll continue to hear leading up to the game Saturday, Auburn has not won in Baton Rouge, Louisiana since 1999.
I was a much younger man with far less gray hair, but I remember it well. Tommy Tuberville’s Tigers bludgeoned Gerry DiNardo’s Tigers, 41-7, and Nick Saban was hired in Baton Rouge at season’s end.
That was then and this is now.
LSU has been quite formidable over the last 20 years, but this team is unlike any we’ve seen before. The Tigers are the No. 2 team in the nation and boast a prolific offense under the direction of Steve Ensminger and Joe Brady.
Through seven games, the LSU offense ranks No. 3 in total offense, No. 2 in passing yards and passing efficiency and No. 2 in scoring offense with 50.1 points per game.
Auburn is an 11-point underdog and probably should be based on how both teams have played. Can Auburn win? Of course it can, but it will take a superb effort.
Let’s take a look at some strengths and weaknesses.
Obviously, LSU’s main strength is its offense and scoring ability. Auburn’s main strength is its defense. LSU averages scoring 50 points a game. Auburn averages giving up 17.1 points a game. This will be the best offense Auburn has faced and it will be the best defense LSU has faced.
Kevin Steele’s forte is shutting down the run this season, but the Bayou Bengals are perfectly content to throw the ball 40 times. The Auburn secondary have been great tacklers and will need to have their best game Saturday.
I think the defense will give Malzahn & Co. a chance, but it’s going to have to be Bo Nix and the offense that wins the game. Auburn needs to run the ball effectively and Nix must give his receivers opportunities to make plays.
It’s going to be another hostile environment and communication will be crucial. I don’t believe Auburn can win the game without scoring at least 34 points.
Can they do that? I don’t know, but if they do I’m going to party like it’s 1999.