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Associated Press Published: September 20, 2012
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AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — No. 2 LSU (3-0, 0-0 SEC) at Auburn (1-2, 0-1) 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: LSU by 20½.

Series Record: LSU leads 25-20-1.

LSU can stay on track for a third straight No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup against Alabama with a win in its Southeastern Conference opener. Coach Gene Chizik and Auburn could silence many of their critics by pulling off a big upset after a disappointing start.

KEY MATCHUP

LSU's rushing offense leads the league and averages 269.3 yards a game on the ground. Auburn has allowed a league-worst 217 rushing yards with poor tackling and shaky play in the front seven. It could be a physical mismatch on the interior line, especially, in dealing with LSU's blockers and bruising backs.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

LSU: RB Kenny Hilliard. The bulldozing back is leading the SEC in scoring with six touchdowns and is third in rushing, averaging 8.2 yards on 37 carries. The 231-pounder takes on a defense that was abused for 231 yards by Clemson's Andre Ellington.

Auburn: QB Kiehl Frazier. The inconsistent and sometimes indecisive first-year starter will have to produce both in passing and rushing to give Auburn a chance. He's the league's 11th-rated passer but Auburn is unlikely to be able to just pound away at seven- or eight-man fronts against a defense allowing a paltry 47 rushing yards a game.

FACTS & FIGURES

The home team has won 12 of the last 13 meetings in this SEC West rivalry. ... LSU has won 24 consecutive games in September and has a nation's best 16-game regular-season winning streak. ... Last year's 45-10 LSU win was the largest margin in the series. ... LSU leads the SEC in four offensive and defensive statistical categories and Auburn is last in the league in in four categories. ... Auburn has blocked three field goals already, two by Angelo Blackson and one by Corey Lemonier.