BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (Ticker) -- In a matchup of teams named Tigers, Louisiana State was the only team to show some bite.
Matt Mauck threw two of his three touchdown passes in the first quarter as ninth-ranked Louisiana State jumped to an early 21-point lead and coasted to a 31-7 win over No. 21 Auburn in a key Southeastern Conference West Division game.
Auburn (5-3, 4-1) had won its last five games and controlled its own destiny in the division race. But Auburn was overwhelmed in the first quarter and never was able to get its potent running game in gear.
The victory left Auburn and LSU (7-1, 4-1) tied for second in the SEC West, one-half game behind surprising Mississippi, which defeated Arkansas.
"It's a great win for the Tigers," said LSU coach Nick Saban, who presumably was talking about his group of cats. "It was a total team win. Every phase of the team I'm proud of."
LSU easily moved the ball behind true freshman Justin Vincent, who rushed for 127 yards on 14 carries, marking the first time he has topped the 100-yard plateau.
The start of the game was delayed 18 minutes by lightning before Mauck gave LSU a quick spark when he found Devery Henderson for a 64-yard touchdown pass 1:59 into the game to make it 7-0.
"(Coach Saban) put a lot of responsibility on me tonight as far as making the right checks and everything," Mauck said. "I don't mind doing it at all. Actually, I like doing it. It worked out pretty well."
Midway through the quarter, Mauck connected on an 18-yard touchdown pass to Michael Clayton.
Henderson had six catches for 101 yards and Clayton caught six balls for 59 yards.
"We just stuck to our gameplan," Clayton said. "We had a real good practice all week and that usually carries on to how you play in the game."
The lead grew to 21-0 when Skyler Green returned a punt 44 yards to the Auburn 28 and Alley Broussard scored on a five-yard run with 2:58 left in the quarter.
LSU scored 21 points in the first quarter of an SEC game for the first time since October 1985 against Vanderbilt.
Auburn was unable to dig itself out of the early hole. Carnell Williams, who had run for 496 yards in his last three games, was held to just 61 yards on 20 carries. Auburn managed just 50 rushing yards on 34 carries.
"LSU's defensive line controlled the trenches. They beat us in all phases," Williams said. "I can't say their start should have affected us. We still think we should have executed our offense."
Jason Campbell of Auburn completed just 19-of-27 passes for 143 yards.
The game reminded Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville of last year, when it was Auburn that got off to a quick start and went on to a 31-7 win.
"It was kind of deja vu from last year," Tuberville said. "We got off to a slow start tonight and the rest is history. We got beat up front on both sides of the line, and when you can't control the line of scrimmage on the road you're in trouble."
In its first eight games, LSU has not allowed an opponent to rush for 100 yards and has given up only 16 points in the first half combined.
Mauck hooked up on a 16-yard touchdown pass to Henderson in the third quarter that made it 31-0. Ryan Gaudet kicked a 33-yard field goal for LSU earlier in the period.
Auburn was able to avoid the shutout on a six-yard TD pass from Campbell to Anthony Mix midway through the final quarter.