Auburn at LSU
In his three seasons as Auburn coach, Terry Bowden (left) has dipped into his trusty gris-gris bag several times to pull out close games, none more spectacular than his team's 30-26 win over LSU a year ago. With the Fighting Tigers leading 23-9 and less than 13 minutes remaining, then-LSU coach Curley Hall man continued to call passing plays. The result: five Auburn interceptions, three of which were returned for touchdowns. "I don't know if I'll ever see another game like it," says Bowden.
LSU has seven starters returning from a defense that surrendered only 165 yards against Auburn, but that defense will be more severely tested by Auburn on Saturday. After being benched in the second half against LSU last year, Auburn's Patrick Nix has rebounded to become arguably the SEC's best quarterback.
Meanwhile, his counterpart that afternoon, Jamie Howard, was so maligned by LSU fans in the aftermath of the loss that he considered not returning for his senior year this fall. He changed his mind, however, when the school hired coach Gerry DiNardo last December. Nothing would vindicate Howard more than an LSU win on Saturday.