Published February 05, 2015
Auburn, AL (SportsNetwork.com) - If there is such a thing as a revenge game, No. 5 Auburn sure had one against No. 15 LSU on Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Nick Marshall accounted for four touchdowns to lead Auburn to a 41-7 rout of LSU and help avenge the program's only regular-season loss last season.
Marshall passed for 207 yards with two touchdowns and also ran for 119 yards with two scores for Auburn (5-0, 2-0 SEC), which lost 35-21 at LSU last season.
Cameron Artis-Payne rushed for 126 yards on 24 carries and Sammie Coates hauled in four passes for 144 yards and a touchdown in the win.
A big reason LSU (4-2, 0-2) struggled throughout the evening was because of its faulty quarterback play. Freshman Brandon Harris, who made his first collegiate start, went 3-for-14 for 58 yards in just over two quarters. Anthony Jennings replaced Harris in the third and didn't perform much better, completing 5-of-10 passes for 84 yards.
Kenny Hilliard's rushing touchdown accounted for the only LSU score.
"The night was awful from start to finish," said Harris. "Our coaching staff did a great job preparing us for each game and each opponent. I thought I came out and played terrible. I can't even put a grade on it. It was an awful game."
Last season, LSU jumped out to a 21-0 lead after two quarters. This time around, Auburn's offense and defense were clicking from the start.
LSU went 0-for-13 on third down.
"Hats off to the defense. They did a wonderful job," said Auburn coach Gus Malzahn. "Offensively, we hit some passes early on (that) loosened up everything. We were able to run and pass the ball. Our kicking game was solid too. We talk about getting better and improving each week. There is no doubt we improved this week."
The hosts forced a three-and-out on LSU's opening touch, then a 19-yard catch by Quan Bray on third down set up Daniel Carson's 46-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.
After another LSU punt, Coates capped a five-play, 65-yard drive with a 56- yard TD catch to extend the margin to 10-0.
Auburn's defense remained stout and its offense continued to score, forcing yet another punt and scoring again in five plays to make it a 17-point game. Coates hauled in a 38-yard pass from Marshall, then Auburn's signal caller finished off the series with a 7-yard run into the end zone.
Harris completed his first pass of the night with just over two minutes left in the first quarter, a 52-yard throw to Malachi Dupre. Hilliard plunged into the end zone from a yard out on the following play to get LSU on the board.
The host Tigers proceeded to answer with a touchdown drive in less than two minutes. D'haquille Williams' 26-yard catch moved the ball across midfield and Artis-Payne followed with a 34-yard scamper to the LSU 11. Marshall then hit a wide-open C.J. Uzomah for a 9-yard score to make it 24-7.
After numerous punts from both teams, Marshall broke a handful of tackles and bolted into the end zone for a 29-yard score to give Auburn a 24-point lead at the break.
The 31 points allowed in the first half is tied for the most in a half under LSU coach Les Miles, and the 379 total yards allowed is the second-most given up over two quarters.
Carlson knocked down a 42-yard field goal midway through the third for a 34-7 lead, then Marshall fumbled at his 35 on Auburn's next touch to give LSU good field position. However, the host defense stepped up once again, stopping LSU on 4th-and-7 to regain possession.
Corey Grant rushed for a 12-yard touchdown with under nine minutes left in the fourth to account for the final margin.
LSU turned it over on downs on its final three possessions of the contest.
LSU had won three straight over Auburn ... Miles was denied his 100th win at the school ... Auburn won its 300th SEC game ... Auburn outgained LSU 566-280 ... Dupre led LSU in receiving with his lone catch in the first.