As Ed Orgeron, Bryan Harsin match up for the first time, here's where the game will be won

Bennett Durando
Montgomery Advertiser
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AUBURN — Ed Orgeron and Bryan Harsin will face each other for the first time Saturday.

Orgeron is faced with the challenging task of scouting for two possible starting quarterbacks. But that's not the characteristic of Auburn that stands out to him most during his game prep.

"Very good run game with Tank Bigsby and running backs," the LSU coach said Wednesday. "It's a challenge to stop the run. ... They're very talented. They're hard runners. They're very well coached. They stay tight on their cuts, and their pad level is very low. They break tackles. They know exactly where to go with the football. They're an outstanding team with outstanding players, and they're very tough. They're tough to tackle."

LSU has one of the best defensive lines in the country, which will make life harder on Bigsby, Shaun Shivers and Jarquez Hunter. The game will be won in the trenches, where Auburn's offensive line had promising sequences against Penn State but struggled against Georgia State.

Orgeron said on the SEC conference call Wednesday that he feels comfortable rushing three or four most of the time. That has been enough so far for LSU to lead the nation in sacks.

"It's definitely going to come down to the offensive line," Auburn right tackle Brodarious Hamm said. "We're going to have to bring our best to this game. We're going to have to be hitting on all cylinders Saturday.

"They have some big dudes up front. They're solid."

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Auburn quarterback Bo Nix is known for being quick to scramble. But if Harsin gives LSU transfer T.J. Finley the start Saturday, he has the goods to avoid pressure, too. Orgeron was impressed by Finley's elusive game-winning touchdown pass against Georgia State last week.

"That play he made, the last play he made, he showed tremendous ability to escape in the pocket," Orgeron said. "Great flexibility. Great feet. T.J. has always been an outstanding athlete. He looks slim. He looks like he's in good shape. We're going to have to contain him. I think they're going to spread out with him. He's going to move. We have to know where he's at."

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