Associated Press Photo
AUBURN, Ala. (Sports Network) - Drew Alleman's 30-yard field goal was the difference as No. 2 LSU edged Auburn, 12-10, in a defensive struggle on Saturday.
Zach Mettenberger completed 15-of-27 passes for 169 yards for LSU (4-0, 1-0 SEC), which extended its win streak over unranked teams to 16 games.
Spencer Ware totaled 134 yards of offense in the victory, carrying the ball 16 times for 90 yards and a touchdown and adding 44 yards on two receptions.
Kiehl Frazier went 13-for-22 through the air for just 97 yards and two interceptions for Auburn (1-3, 0-2), which was held to 183 total yards and turned the ball over three times.
LSU trailed, 10-9, at the half, but was able to go on top with the help of a costly turnover by Auburn late in the third quarter as Auburn's Quan Brey muffed a punt and LSU's Jarvis Landry recovered the ball at the Auburn 48.
Kadron Boone's 29-yard reception then moved the ball down to the Auburn 22- yard line, but LSU would not record another first down and was forced to settle for Alleman's 30-yard field goal.
Onterio McCalebb took the ensuing kickoff 43 yards up the middle to give Auburn the ball at its own 44, but Frazier failed to take advantage of the favorable field position when he floated a pass to the left side that was intercepted by Luke Muncie at the LSU 44.
LSU was forced to punt, though, and it remained a 12-10 game heading into the fourth quarter.
Neither team was able to advance past midfield throughout the fourth until LSU converted a 3rd-and-4 at their own 33 with a 33-yard catch-and-run by Ware, placing the ball at the Auburn 34 with 2:39 left in the game.
LSU would not be able to run out the remainder of the clock and Auburn got the ball back at its own 20 with 39 seconds left after Alleman missed a 34-yard field goal wide right, but Frazier's final pass as time expired was picked off by Tharold Simon to seal the win.
LSU moved its first possession of the game all the way down to the Auburn 2- yard line after holding Auburn to a three-and-out, but a Mettenberger fumble was recovered by Auburn at the one.
On the next play, however, Tre Mason was tackled for a loss inside the end zone by Sam Montgomery for a safety.
Ware's 28-yard rush then highlighted a 9-play, 59-yard drive that Michael Ford capped with a 1-yard touchdown run to the left side, giving LSU a 9-0 lead with just over four minutes left in the first quarter.
LSU later got the ball back following another Auburn three-and-out, but Mettenberger had the ball punched out of his hands during a sack by Corey Lemonier and Auburn recovered at the LSU 26.
Mason reeled off a 26-yard rush down the left sideline on the second play of the drive before McCalebb took a handoff to the left side of the line and into the end zone from four yards out on the final play of the first quarter to bring Auburn within 9-7.
The teams traded punts from there until Emory Blake hauled in a 22-yard pass over the middle on a 3rd-and-9 to move Auburn deep into LSU territory and set up Cody Parkey's 40-yard field goal with 1:21 left in the first half.
Ware broke through the middle of the line for a 30-yard gain on the first play of the ensuing drive, but LSU would not manage another first down to keep it a 10-9 game at the half.