Most years, when Auburn and LSU clash it captures the attention of the nation. Two of the most storied programs in the SEC West have developed quite a history, but the two teams are heading in different directions this season.
LSU appears primed to make another run at the National Championship, while Auburn has looked unimpressive out of the gate, losing to Clemson and Mississippi State before narrowly beating Louisiana Monroe. Still, each sideline will be occupied by future NFL players, as is often the case in an SEC matchup.
LSU's defense is among the best in the nation, and defensive ends Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery are the ones to watch. Each possesses a different skill set. Mingo is a bit more of an edge rusher who will transition to 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL, while Montgomery has the size and power to put his hand in the dirt in a 4-3 defense.
Auburn will also rely on the strength of its defensive line, as a trio of juniors make up the heart of the Tiger defense. Cornerbacks Chris Davis and T'Sharvan Bell are also going to be interesting prospects to keep an eye on throughout the 2012 season.
After the jump, check out the prospects to watch, a key matchup and the question of the night.
Auburn Tigers 2013 NFL Draft Prospects to Watch
Defense - No. 55 - Corey Lemonier, DE 6'3', 245 (Junior), No. 54 Jeffrey Whitaker, DT 6'3'', 302 (Junior), No. 95 Dee Ford, DE 6'2'', 245 (Junior), No. 22 - T'Sharvan Bell, CB - 5'11'', 185 (Senior), No. 11 - Chris Davis, CB - 5'10'',185 (Junior)
LSU Tigers 2013 NFL Draft prospects:
Offense: No. 8 - Zach Mettenberger, QB - 6'5, 230 pounds (Junior), No. 11 - Spencer Ware, RB - 5'11, 225 pounds, No. 72 - Alex Hurst, OT - 6'6, 331 pounds
Defense: No. 1 - Eric Reid, S - 6'2, 212 pounds (Junior), No. 18 - Bennie Logan, DT - 6'3, 295 pounds (Junior), No. 24 - Tharold Simon, 6'3, 193 pounds, No. 49 - Barkevious Mingo, DE - 6'5, 240 pounds (Junior), No. 99 - Sam Montgomery, DE - 6'5, 260 pounds (Junior)
LSU's Alex Hurst vs. Auburn's defensive line
While LSU's defense is a near lock to get the job done each Saturday, the Tigers' offense can be a bit more sporadic. Senior offensive tackle Alex Hurst will be tasked with keeping the pocket clean, and Auburn's rotation of defensive ends will make that a difficult task. This will be a good game by which we can evaluate Hurst.
Question of the Night
Does Auburn have enough offensive fire power to move the ball against LSU?
A quick look at the list of prospects above provides a snap shot of how talented LSU's defense is. Auburn has struggled to move the football this season. This could prove to be a blowout if an offensive threat doesn't emerge for Auburn early in this game.