Death Valley Has Not Been Kind To Auburn, 0-9 Since 1999

By: Tony Thomas  October 22, 2019


The rivalry between LSU and Auburn is as good as it gets in college football. LSU owns a 30-22-1 advantage in the series that dates back to 1901, and the two teams have played every year since 1992.

But an even more significant stat line is this: Auburn has not won in Tiger Stadium since a 41-7 win in 1999. The moniker “Death Valley” certainly holds true with Auburn posting an 0-9 record over the last 20 years in visits to one of the toughest places to play in college football.

So, as both teams prepare for this Top Ten matchup, LSU’s third of the season, here are some compelling numbers you may find interesting. I will start with Auburn:

  •  has scored 50 or more points in 3 of their last 5 games.
  •  ranks #103 in FBS in passing offense, throwing for 193 yards per game.
  •  ranks #11 in FBS in rushing offense, gaining 239 yards per game.
  •  are +1 in turnover margin.

Auburn will be without starting RB Jatarvious Whitlow who had surgery after suffering a knee injury earlier in the season.

Does that mean that head coach Gus Malzahn will rely more on true freshman QB Bo Nix to move the offense down the field. We shall see. Auburn has allowed 10 sacks this season.

LSU’s offensive success has been no secret this season, as it has come as part of a total transformation and reversal of philosophy not seen in Baton Rouge in over a decade. The numbers are simply spectacular:

  •  ranks #2 in FBS in passing offense, averaging 385 yards per game.
  •  ranks #2 in FBS in scoring offense, averaging 50 points per game.
  •  ranks #3 in FBS in total offense, averaging 539 yards per game.
  •  ranks # 1 in FBS in red-zone conversions, converting 100% of plays.
  •  has scored 40 or more points in 6 of their 7 games this season.

Senior QB Joe Burrow has been on fire and very efficient each week, completing 79% of his throws.

He has passed for 2484 yards and 29 TDs with only 3 INTs and is averaging 354 yards per game, good for #2 nationally. And, he is averaging 11 yards per pass.

His 29 TD passes set a new LSU single-season record.


Burrow is now considered by many to be the front-runner for this year’s Heisman Trophy.

Defensively, the two teams are just about dead even in the 4 major defensive categories:

  •  Total Defense: both teams are allowing opponents 319 total yards per game.
  •  Rushing Defense: LSU=93 yards per game; Auburn=94 yards per game.
  •  Pass Defense: LSU=224 yards per game; Auburn=226 yards per game.
  •  Scoring Defense: LSU=20 points allowed; Auburn= 17 points allowed per game.

D.B.U was slow out of the gate to begin the season, recording zero interceptions in the first 3 games.

But since that time, the LSU secondary has played up to the D.B.U reputation by notching 8 interceptions in their last 4 games.

DB Derek Stingley leads that unit with 3 INTs.

LSU is +5 in turnover margin.

The difference in the game will be LSU’s ability to neutralize the Auburn pass rush, led by a couple of senior defensive linemen in Marlon Davidson (5.5 sacks) and Derrick Brown (3 sacks).

LSU must continue to give Burrow protection and give him time to pick apart Auburn’s secondary and keep Burrow upright as much as possible. LSU has allowed 12 sacks through 7 games this season, an average of 1.5 sacks per game.

LSU will win this game doing what they have done all year, putting pressure on defenses and not allowing substitutions by running no-huddle and lining up 3 and 4 wide receivers and throwing the ball up and down the field.

By the 4th quarter, the Auburn defense should be gassed and War Eagle will be 0 for their last 10 in trips to Death Valley.

Thanks for reading.

Material for this article sourced from









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