Auburn football: Scoring 63 points was fun, but Tigers shift focus to bigger target (LSU)

JaTarvious Whitlow has been one of Auburn's top performers this season. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
JaTarvious Whitlow has been one of Auburn's top performers this season. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) /

Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium was a fun night for the Auburn football team.

The Tigers won, 63-9. More than 80 players got into the game. There didn’t appear to be any serious injuries. There was plenty of reason to celebrate and bask in the lopsided victory.

But Auburn expected to win, expected to take care of business.

And expected to point toward LSU when the final second ticked off the clock.

And that’s exactly what they did. In fact, no coach or player will ever admit it, but the Tigers likely were directing some of their attention last week to LSU.

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“I feel good about our team going into LSU,” Auburn defensive end Marlon Davidson said. “I feel like we’re focused. I feel like tonight helped us for LSU, just to see the maturity of our team and how we handled this game. I feel like that made it that much easier to prepare for next week.”

You can bet No. 7 Auburn will be focused for this one.

Remember what happened last season? Of course you do. Auburn built a 20-0 lead in the first half in Baton Rouge, then the offense went into hibernation and LSU rallied for a 27-23 win.

That was a bad feeling.

Linebacker Deshaun Davis took this approach:

“The same way we prepare. Our opponent has no face,” Davis said after the win Saturday night. “We prepare for LSU like we prepare for Alabama State, Alabama or Georgia. Auburn is going to be Auburn whoever we play. We don’t want to go out and have a great practice because we play LSU and go out and have an OK practice because we play someone else. Coach (Kevin) Steele emphasizes our opponent doesn’t have a face. We want to be Auburn.”

That’s what you want from your team and your coaches.

Davis can say LSU has no face, that the Tigers are just the next team on the schedule. The players need to keep it that way and not get caught up in the magnitude of a matchup or, in this case, what happened last season.

But that doesn’t change the fact that the 2017 loss ate at the players still on the team this season. You won’t hear them say that this week. You won’t hear them saying they’re out for revenge.

But you will hear talk about preparation, execution and removing the mistakes they’ve made the first two weeks of the season.

This Auburn football team is confident.

It’s different from what we’ve seen the last few seasons.

And that’s exactly what you want.