AUBURN, Ala. — The Auburn football team was dealt a personal blow before the start of Saturday’s game after learning of the death of a student assistant coach.
Joe Bagwell, 23, of Huntsville, Ala., died unexpectedly Saturday, according to Auburn coach Gene Chizik.
Bagwell was in his first year as a student coach after serving as a student trainer in 2011.
“It is a very heavy heart for myself and a lot of our players and a lot of our coaches right now,” Chizik said after the 12-10 loss to No. 2-ranked LSU.
“It is very tragic. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family.”
LSU officials will learn of TV plans Monday for the Tigers’ next road game, Oct. 6 at Florida.
The Gators, ranked No. 14 in this week’s Associated Press poll, improved to 4-0 Saturday with a 38-0 shutout of Kentucky. Florida will have an open date next week before hosting LSU.
The LSU-Florida game could be picked by CBS for a 2:30 p.m. start, but it could also be kicked to a nighttime start on ESPN by the Oct. 6 Southeastern Conference Eastern Division showdown between No. 5 Georgia and No. 7 South Carolina. The Gamecocks remained unbeaten Saturday with a 31-10 win over Missouri, while the Bulldogs hosted Vanderbilt in a night contest.
The rest of the SEC schedule for Oct. 6 includes Arkansas at Auburn, Texas A&M at Ole Miss, Vanderbilt at Missouri and Mississippi State at Kentucky.
LSU center P.J. Lonergan went down on the Tigers’ second play from scrimmage, replaced by Elliott Porter who started against Idaho last week.
Lonergan later returned.
Head linesman Jerry Crawford was injured on the LSU sideline late in the second quarter as well.
LSU wide receiver Jarvis Landry was injured with 9:09 left in the third quarter recovering a fumbled Auburn punt at the Auburn 48 but later returned.
What’s up, doc?
Famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews was honored on the field during the first half for 20 years service to the Auburn athletic department, wearing orange AU cap.
Andrews is an LSU graduate but lives and works in Birmingham.
Crunching the numbers
In 2011, LSU failed to score on only four of 61 trips into the red zone. Zach Mettenberger’s fumble at the Auburn 2 on LSU’s first drive marked the fourth time in the Tigers’ first 18 possessions this season that LSU failed to score, although the Tigers did record a safety two plays later when Sam Montgomery tackled Tre Mason in the end zone.
Crunching the numbers II
LSU posted 14 tackles for loss against Auburn, the most the Tigers have had since they had 16 in their SEC opener at Mississippi State last season.
True freshman Patrick Miller started for Auburn at right tackle in Saturday’s game.
If that name sounds familiar to LSU fans, it’s because Miller spent most of 2011 committed to Les Miles and planned on enrolling at LSU in January. However, he signed with Auburn because Miles was holding a scholarship for five-star Indiana quarterback Gunner Kiel, who ultimately enrolled at Notre Dame.
Miller (6-foot-7, 288 pounds) was rated as the nation’s No. 24 offensive tackle by Rivals coming out of Dwyer High School in West Palm Beach, Fla. He replaced fellow freshman Avery Young, who is from nearby Palm Beach Gardens High.
Although he had seen early season action for Auburn, Saturday marked the first start of his career.
Kickoff for LSU’s game against Towson is set for 6 p.m. next Saturday in Tiger Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPNU. ... Since 2000, the LSU-Auburn winner has gone on to play in the SEC Championship Game eight times. … Sam Montgomery’s tackle of Auburn running back Tre Mason for a safety was LSU’s first since the Tigers’ 2010 season opener against North Carolina in Atlanta. … Linebacker Luke Muncie had his first career interception, coming in the third quarter. … LSU now leads the Auburn series 26-20-1. LSU has won five of its last six against Auburn overall but just two of its last six here (LSU’s previous win at Jordan-Hare Stadium was in 2008). … Auburn still leads in games played here 10-7. … LSU is now 14-1 when playing as the nation’s No. 2-ranked team.
Scott Rabalais, Scott Hotard and Les East contributed to this report.