September 22, 2013

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AUBURN | We've seen an undermanned Auburn team stroll into Baton Rouge and take a beating while offering up nothing more than token resistance.

That happened two years ago. And it was a mess.

What happened Saturday night was much different. An undermanned Auburn team struggled to manage its emotions and the rain and a serious injury to wideout Jaylon Denson and, of course, a very good LSU team that will challenge for the Southeastern Conference title. That's a lot to consider and the Tigers didn't multitask well during the first quarter and into the second.

Yet this team reassessed its situation at halftime and played with more passion during the second half. It fought. It stood up to the challenge of a championship contender and dished out some punishment, some serious punishment.

LSU won the game, 35-21.

Still, the Tigers didn't walk out of Baton Rouge as a damaged, beleaguered group. They instead walked out with some level of satisfaction as if keenly aware of the progress they've made during the first 10 months of coach Gus Malzahn's tenure as head coach.

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