Brian Kelly calls Auburn victory a “culture win”

Kelly said he was proud of his team for finding a way to win last week.

Last Saturday night, [autotag]Brian Kelly[/autotag] and the LSU Tigers traveled for their first true road game of the season as they headed to the Plains to take on the Auburn Tigers.

It was a back-and-forth battle between the teams, but in the end, LSU made enough plays to come out with a 21-17 win. The win makes LSU 4-1 this season and 2-0 in conference play. What does a win like that do for a young Tiger team like LSU? How will they use that to benefit them down the road as they get into the meat of the SEC schedule?

Kelly was asked about what the win meant when he met with the media.

“As I told our guys, that’s a culture win,” Kelly said immediately after the game. “That’s a program win where you’re doing the right things to win a game like that.”

“An exciting win for our guys, certainly coming back from a 17-0 deficit on the road is not where you want to be but we found a way,” Kelly said. “It’s been the DNA of this group to battle, to fight, and they certainly did that tonight. They found a way to win.”

“Look, at the end of the day, there’s a saying in golf: There’s no pictures on the scorecard, there’s just what you score,” Kelly said. “Tonight there’s no pictures on the scoreboard for us.”

“We just found a way to win this game,” he said. “That’s really what you’re trying to do in the SEC West. It’s tough competition going on the road. It’s a tough crowd that you have to overcome. Was that our best performance? I hope not. But it was gutty, it was gritty and it was one that I’m proud of our guys and the way they hung in there down 17-0.”

Brian Kelly and the LSU Tigers return to the Bayou this weekend to take on the Tennessee Volunteers this Saturday at 11 a.m. CT.

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WATCH: Paul Finebaum caller suggest that Auburn hire former LSU coach Les Miles

This caller wants to see Les Miles back in the SEC.

LSU’s comeback win against Auburn on Saturday turned up the temperature on coach Bryan Harsin’s already hot seat.

The Tigers are more than four-touchdown underdogs against Georgia on the road this weekend, and a bad loss could spell the end of the Harsin era. Regardless of the timing, the odds Harsin survives his second season on the plains are slim to none.

When it comes to a potential replacement, one caller on The Paul Finebaum Show had a suggestion that was… interesting, to say the least. Edward from Selma, Alabama, thinks Auburn should hire none other than former national title-winning LSU head coach [autotag]Les Miles[/autotag].

https://twitter.com/FTBeard7/status/1577791147514003456?s=20&t=vdsoPKozZpziuP8z8fvWnw

Now, Finebaum callers are not exactly known for being rational or well-adjusted individuals, but this one is a bit out there. Not only did Miles turn in a disastrous 3-18 tenure in his last post at Kansas — a tough job but not an impossible one, as Lance Leipold is proving — but he has more than enough off-the-field baggage for him to be a non-starter as a candidate, especially at this level.

He’s also 68 years old.

Given the instability at Auburn and the rebuilding job a potential replacement for Harsin would face, I have a feeling this program plans to go in a different direction.

Sorry, Edward.

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LSU freshman named a Week 5 standout by On3

Harold Perkins continues to impress when he’s on the field.

[autotag]Harold Perkins[/autotag] is one of the best linebackers in the country. Sure, he only totaled two tackles and an interception against Auburn, but he was all over the field on Saturday night.

When the LSU defense needed a big play, he stepped up. With 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter, LSU was clinging to a four-point lead, and Auburn had driven all the way into the red zone. On second and goal from the 10-yard line, Auburn drew up a trick play with former LSU Tiger, [autotag]Koy Moore[/autotag].

Moore was brought in motion on a jet sweep and the plan was for him to throw a touchdown pass, but the LSU defense had other plans. Micah Baskerville pressured Moore on the throw and after Moore lofted the ball into the air, Perkins came down with a huge interception to end the Auburn drive.

Perkins is so far ahead of where he should be as a true freshman. He looks like a guy that has been playing for a couple of years and should be a Freshman All-SEC selection at the end of the year.

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Rockets see Jabari Smith Jr. as ‘just scratching the surface’ of his potential

#Rockets assistant coach John Lucas on Jabari Smith Jr.: “He is just scratching the surface. I think he has a chance to really be good. Jabari knows how to play.”

HOUSTON — The  Rockets resumed practice on Tuesday, preparing for their second preseason game on Friday versus Toronto. Assistant coach John Lucas II was called upon to lead practice after head coach Stephen Silas entered the NBA’s health and safety protocol following Sunday’s emphatic 134-96 victory over San Antonio.

Even though Silas’ voice wasn’t heard, the game plan he had been implementing since training camp began was followed by Lucas and the rest of the coaching staff.

“Obviously we miss him because he’s our leader for what we do,” Lucas told reporters. “We just got through practice today, followed his game plan. Going to talk to him about what he wants us to do tomorrow. And we just keep building. We have a system in place, we have a good staff, and we just build with what we have.”

One of those building blocks is rookie Jabari Smith Jr., who the Rockets selected with the No. 3 pick in the 2022 NBA draft.

“He is just scratching the surface,” Lucas said about Smith’s first preseason game performance. “He has a chance to really be good, because one of the things he can do already is shoot and that helps our spacing on the floor, and he is an elite defender.”

Smith finished Sunday’s game with a game-high 21 points, but his 5-of-8 shooting (62.5%) from 3-point range particularly impressed the Rockets’ coaching staff.

“My teammates made it easy for me by finding me when I was open,” Smith told reporters after the game. “Coming into the game, I was looser than in summer league. I didn’t have all the jitters, and my teammates helped me with that.”

Smith’s work ethic has been noticed by his teammates and Lucas, who raved about how much time the rookie puts into honing his craft. It was a trait that former coaches from Smith’s past raved about when talking about the 6-foot-11 forward out of Auburn University.

“In doing research on him before the draft and talking to his coaches, including his AAU coach, they all said the same thing, and that is he likes to work,” Lucas said.

If anyone knew just how much Smith takes pride in becoming one of the best players in the NBA, it would be Lucas, who has consistently worked with Smith on making his shot better since the summer.

“Jabari has really improved his shooting,” said Lucas, who would put Smith through drills at 6 a.m. during the summer. “He has gotten his feet under him and managed to do better. I watched him in summer league and thought that his shot was too slow, and he has really picked it up. But more importantly, Jabari knows how to play.”

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BJ Ojulari named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week

Ojulari received another honor from the SEC following his two-sack performance against Auburn.

Following another big performance, [autotag]BJ Ojulari[/autotag] has been named SEC Defensive Linemen of the Week. Ojulari has now received this honor in the last two games he has played, also earning it for his performance against Mississippi State in Week 3.

Against Auburn in Week 5, Ojulari had four pressures and two sacks. His strip-sack of Robby Ashford in the second quarter was returned for a touchdown by [autotag]Jay Ward[/autotag] and put LSU on the board.

Despite playing in just three games as he deals with nagging injuries, Ojulari has 18 pressures and six sacks on the year.

Already a highly touted prospect in the 2023 NFL draft, Ojulari is only boosting his stock.

LSU will need another big game from Ojulari against Tennessee’s potent offense when the Vols come to town for a matchup of ranked opponents this weekend.

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SEC Roundup: A look around the conference

Checking in on the current and future SEC teams with the top stories on Tuesday.

We are approaching the midway point of the 2022 college football season in the SEC. Thus far we have seen the usual suspects standing at the top of the hill with Alabama and Georgia coming into Week 6 with identical 5-0 records.

They have both won their two conference matchups. Not to mention both have survived early season scares. Alabama needed a last-minute field goal to beat Texas in Week 2, while Georgia needed a surge to fend off Missouri on Saturday. This week Alabama takes on Texas A&M, while Georgia and Auburn renew their rivalry game.

Speaking of the Bulldogs, it is Georgia week and the shots have already been fired by UGA Wire.

We check in on the rest of the SEC with this roundup on a Tuesday morning. We will also check on the future conference teams, Oklahoma and Texas.

Tigers take big leap into top 25 of USA TODAY Sports re-rank after Auburn win

The Tigers are up nine spots to No. 23 this week.

LSU certainly delivered a flawed performance on Saturday against Auburn, but a three-score comeback against an SEC West team on the road is impressive no matter how you slice it.

That performance vaulted LSU to the No. 25 spot in the AP Poll and made the Tigers the second-highest vote-getter among unranked teams in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll. However, they are even higher in the latest college football re-rank from USA TODAY Sports, which power ranks all 131 FBS teams.

LSU is up nine spots this week to No. 23, sitting ahead of nearby conference foes like Mississippi State (No. 24), Arkansas (No. 25), Florida (No. 35) and Texas A&M (No. 39). Alabama (No. 1), Georgia (No. 2) and Tennessee (No. 8) are in the top 10, while Ole Miss (No. 12) and Kentucky (No. 16) sit within the top 20.

The Tigers could see quite a surge in these rankings (and in the polls) if they can pull off what would be a marquee win against an undefeated, top-10 opponent in the Vols.

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Bird’s Eye View: My observations from the LSU-Auburn game

Here’s what we learned from watch LSU-Auburn in-person.

On Saturday night, for the first time ever, I was able to attend an LSU game with a press pass.

I got to sit in the Auburn press box and check this team out in a different fashion than usual. Given this different vantage point, I was able to notice a few things about this team that otherwise I would not have seen, so let’s talk about what I saw.

Going into the game, I was interested to see how [autotag]Jayden Daniels[/autotag] looked in the pocket. I know he is a really athletic quarterback, and that is partly what makes him so effective, but there are a lot of quarterbacks that suffer from being a ‘one-read’ guy. Meaning, the quarterback focuses on one receiver after he snaps it and if that guy isn’t open, he takes off running.

What I noticed is, Daniels does NOT do that. I witnessed on several occasions that Daniels would progress through four or five different reads before checking it down to his running back. That trait also caused him to get sacked a few times, but the main issue for him was that none of his receivers were creating separation.

Daniels wouldn’t make an ill-advised throw to someone that wasn’t open. The reason LSU only had 85 yards is that the receivers rarely got open.

Another thing I wanted to see was how the secondary looked with all of the new transfers and with [autotag]Joe Foucha[/autotag] getting his first action as an LSU Tiger. Communication seemed to be an issue all night long. There were at least five different occasions where I saw busted coverage in the back part of the secondary.

Auburn was able to get a chunk of yards multiple times because LSU defensive backs weren’t where they were supposed to be. It was only Game 5, but it seems the secondary is still ironing out some issues.

The atmosphere at Auburn was crazy, as it always is, but it was great seeing LSU pull out a huge conference win.

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Greg Brooks Jr. gets the game ball against Auburn

Brooks had an interception late in the fourth quarter that sealed the win.

“He takes what he wants.”

That was the saying fans always used to describe former LSU safety [autotag]Tyrann Mathieu[/autotag]. On Saturday night, when the Tigers needed it the most, [autotag]Greg Brooks Jr.[/autotag] did his best honey badger impression.

LSU was clinging to a 21-17 lead with 2:25 left in the fourth quarter, and Auburn was driving down the field. On second and eleven from the LSU 36-yard line, Robby Ashford tried to hit former LSU receiver [autotag]Koy Moore[/autotag] on a curl route over the middle.

Brooks had other plans.

He stole the ball out of the hands of Moore and returned it to the Auburn 46-yard line before Ashford took him down. That interception sealed the victory for LSU as the Tigers would pick up a first down on their next drive and run the clock out.

He received the game ball for his efforts.

When [autotag]Brian Kelly[/autotag] and his teammates needed him the most, Brooks showed up and made what could be the play of the season so far.

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SEC power rankings after Week 5: Some questions raised while others answered

See where each team stands in the latest SEC power rankings after Week 5 of the 2022 season.

The conference has seen a few surprises and disappointments thus far this season. Teams like Auburn, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Texas A&M came into the season with lofty expectations. However, they each find themselves at 3-2 this season.

On the other hand, programs like Tennessee and Ole Miss have lived up to the hype thus far. The Volunteers are 4-0 on the season while the Rebels are 5-0 on the season. As many expected, both Georgia and Alabama have no blemishes to their record up to this point.

After Week 5, there were several shakeups in the power rankings. Today, Roll Tide Wire will take a look at the latest conference power rankings following Week 5 of the 2022 season.