BATON ROUGE, La. — There was nothing mysterious about Louisiana State's 12-6 upset of No. 5 Auburn on Saturday night.
"I think they just outplayed us," said Auburn quarterback Patrick Nix, whose last-second pass was intercepted in the end zone by LSU's Troy Twillie.
"Our defense held them and did what it had to do," Nix said. "We [the offense] had so many mental mistakes and penalties. You just have to overcome things like that and we didn't."
Said Auburn Coach Terry Bowden: "We just flat got beat. LSU looked better than us. We're either not as good as we thought or LSU is a much better team than everybody thought."
LSU quarterback Jamie Howard, victimized in an improbable Auburn comeback last season, thinks the Tigers are a lot better this season.
"I think the difference this year was that our offensive line did so well and our running backs do so well," Howard said.
Howard gave up one interception Saturday night, the first this season in 98 passes, but that was nothing compared to his fourth-quarter nightmare last year, when Auburn returned three fourth-quarter interceptions for touchdowns and beat LSU, 30-26.
LSU (2-1 overall, 1-0 in the SEC) limited Auburn (2-1, 0-1) to 274 yards and two field goals.
"I thought our defense just stayed after it," LSU Coach Gerry DiNardo said. "They just hung in there. They just kept coming up with the play in the end."
Auburn had one last chance, with Nix moving the Tigers to the LSU 11 in 14 plays. Nix stopped the clock by downing the ball with four seconds to play. Then, on fourth and three, Twillie intercepted in the end zone.