Tigers kick off SEC play vs Auburn

No offense to TCU, UAB or Kent State, but the No. 6 LSU Tigers take a step up in competition this week with the start of SEC play.

"Well, you better be ready," coach Les Miles said. "It generally goes down to the end. If you enjoy competition at the very highest level, you love these games."

Running back Terrence Magee added, "Start of a new season for us, we got the beginning out the way, and now we're starting SEC play, so it's gonna be real exciting for us."

Auburn isn't ranked like LSU, but enters the match-up with an identical 3-0 record under their first-year head coach Gus Malzahn.

"As talented as the other teams that you would see come out of Auburn, but I just think they are well prepared," Miles said. "I think they are flying around for their coach. Shoot, I wouldn't expect it any differently."

Wideout Jarvis Landry added, "Auburn has a great defense, and the things that they do well, it speaks through their physical play, and through their speed. With any SEC team, you can expect nothing less than that."

So Saturday night, look for a more intense, harder-hitting affair, the foundation of SEC football.

"You can't compare it to any other conference in the game right now, I feel like the SEC is heads above everyone with the physicality, and that's the way we practice, so I feel we should be ready for it," defensive tackle Ego Ferguson said.

From 2000 through 2007, LSU and Auburn traded victories, each and every year. It was almost uncanny, but in recent times, the Purple-and-Gold Tigers have held the edge, winning four of the past five match-ups. The only loss for Coach Les Miles and company during that span came back in 2010, and that was the year Cam Newton led Auburn to a perfect season.

"We're looking forward to it," Miles said. "This is the kind of game we need. We recognize the conference we play in. This is a very quality conference opponent and, again, our team is ambitious.  They look at this practice week and they best look at it as an opportunity to improve because we have a quality opponent, this is SEC conference play. That is where we want to be."