Auburn coach Gene Chizik is looking for improved play from his offensive line as the Tigers prepare to play No. 2 LSU on Saturday in Auburn, Ala.
“(The offensive line) has been inconsistent,” Chizik said Wednesday afternoon during the weekly Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference. “They’ve done some things well, but there’s certainly room for improvement from that group. We’re not as physical as we need to be, but I feel we’re starting to get there.”
Chizik said freshman tackle Patrick Miller (6-foot-7, 288 pounds) likely will see added playing time to try and bolster the line. “He’s coming on,” Chizik said.
Another freshman, Avery Young (6-6, 295), is listed as the starter at right tackle, and redshirt freshman Greg Robinson (6-5, 311) is listed as the starter at left tackle.
Chizik said Saturday’s game between the long-time SEC West Division rivals is “what SEC football is all about.” LSU is 3-0 after sweeping nonconference homes games against North Texas, Washington and Idaho.
Auburn is 1-2 and 0-1 in SEC play, having beaten Louisiana-Monroe in overtime last week after opening the season with losses against Clemson and Mississippi State.
“Obviously we have a great football team coming in here,” Chizik said of LSU. “It will be a tremendous challenge for our guys. LSU is playing at the top of its game. There are no weak links to their team. They have played tremendous on all sides of the ball.”
Chizik said he has been impressed with LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who will be making his first start in an SEC game Saturday.
“He’s a very efficient quarterback,” Chizik said. “He’s a big old guy who stands up and sees the whole field. He’s got some good receivers to throw the ball to, and they’re definitely not afraid to take some shots down the field.”
LSU beat Auburn 45-10 last season in Tiger Stadium.