McNeal, Tigers Look To Be Physical Vs. LSU

Demetruce McNeal

Comments from one of Auburn's experienced defensive players is featured as the Tigers wrapped up LSU week practice.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn wrapped up on-the-field preparations for Saturday night's home football game vs. LSU with a light workout on Thursday rehearsing the game plan.

Junior safety Demetruce McNeal said the theme for the week is to be physical as his Tigers take on the nation's No. 2 ranked team at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.

"We know it is going to be a physical game," McNeal said. "We have been practicing for that. We are trying to be more physical than last week and we are trying to be a better team than we were last week."

Auburn is coming off a 31-28 overtime victory vs. ULM. That was the first win in three tries for Coach Gene Chizik's Tigers. Meanwhile, LSU improved to 3-0 as the Bayou Bengals made mashed Idaho on the way to a 63-14 victory in Baton Rouge.

This week's SEC matchup will be televised on ESPN and it will be LSU's first game away from its home stadium. The forecast is for clear skies and a temperature in the high 70s at kickoff.

With LSU featuring a power running offense, this week's opponent offers a different type of challenge for the defense which has played against spread offenses in the previous three weeks. McNeal said he expects a lot of major contact on the field as Auburn tries to stop LSU's big backs.

"Our main goal is to be aggressive because we know this team thinks we are soft," the safety said. "Our D line from last year is all back and they have a better scheme of things, and they are going to try to overpower the offensive line of LSU."

After Thursday's practice, Chizik said he agrees with McNeal about the importance of playing physical football this week. "We are working on that daily," said the coach, who added he thought the Tigers had a good week of practice in preparation for what should be a hard-hitting game on Saturday night.

LSU comes into the game on a roll. Coach Les Miles watched his team open with a 41-14 win over North Texas before taking care of business vs. Washington in a 41-3 rout in week two. LSU has scored 40 points in its first three games for just the second time in the school's modern history.

LSU leads its all-time series vs. Auburn 24-20-1. Auburn has a 10-6 lead in games played at Jordan-Hare Stadium including a 24-17 victory over the Bayou Bengals in 2010.

700 Club: Auburn and LSU are two of 15 major college programs with 700 victories. Auburn's all-time record is 712-407-47.

Charter Member: As one of the original teams in the Southeastern Conference, Auburn has been playing in the league since 1933. The Tigers have a record of 54-22-2 in SEC home openers during that period.

On the Charts No. 12, Part 1: Senior Emory Blake goes into Saturday's contest with a chance to pass Ronney Daniels and move into 11th place in Auburn history for receiving yards in a career. Blake has 1,399 while Daniels finished in 2000 with 1,446 yards.

On the Charts No. 12, Part 2: Onterio McCalebb has 2,230 career rushing yards, which ranks him 12th, one spot behind James Joseph, who rushed for 2,230 yards from 1986-90. In McCalebb matches his rushing total from last Saturday when he ran for 123, he will pass former teammate Michael Dyer and moved into 10th place on Auburn's career rushing list.

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