Baton Rouge, La. -- It was not looking good early for the LSU Tigers against the 10th-ranked team in the Nation. Auburn came out swinging, and by the second quarter, the visiting Tigers were leading 20 to nothing. But that was exactly when LSU flipped the switch.
“When we were down by 20 points," said LSU quarterback Danny Etling. "We didn’t ever think it was not possible.”
So cue the comeback. Stephen Sullivan got it started with a one-yard score, and then with 32 seconds to play in the first half, Danny Etling tossed it up to Russell Gage, who laid-out to make the ridiculous catch in the endzone. That made it a 23-14 game at the break.
While the Tigers were drawing-up the rest of their comeback plans at halftime, Les Miles and a large part of the 2007 National Championship team-- including Glenn Dorsey and Matt Flynn-- were recognized on the field. Having them at the game served as just further motivation for the current squad.
“They were all over the place," said LSU Head Football Coach Ed Orgeron. "We could feel their spirit. We were playing for them today. What a tremendous honor to have those guys with us.”
It was still a 9-point game in the 4th quarter, until DJ Chark gaves his team a charge on special teams. He returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown, which accounted for a huge chunk of his 233 all-purpose yards in the game. That score brought LSU with-in 23-21 with just over 14 minutes to play.
“I had to just lay it out on the line and try to return that one," Chark said. "I felt like the team needed a big play."
The other part of this rally was attributed to the Tigers' defense, which posted a shut-out in the second half and held Auburn to just 64 yards of offense after the break. Devin White, added to his SEC-leading 62 tackles with 15 more in this one. The Tigers then relied on the foot of Connor Culp, whose 42-yarder gave them the 24-23 lead with 2:36 to play, and then a 36-yarder with 38 seconds remaining gave them some breathing room. LSU pulls-off the comeback, scoring 20 unanswered points to knock-off Auburn 27 to 23.
“The team just really rallied," Chark said. "There was no point where anybody on the team gave up.”
“I knew our guys would fight," Orgeron said. "We were resilient. We kept on playing. I think the difference in the football game in the overall team win, was the way our defense came out and shut them out in the second half and the way our special teams played."
With the win, LSU improves to (5-2, 2-1 SEC) as they now prepare for a road trip to Oxford to take-on Ole Miss next Saturday.