One season after going undefeated, Auburn is again eager to prove itself against top-notch competition. “Nobody feels like we’ve had a real test yet,” defensive end Stanley McClover said. “LSU is definitely going to be the big test. They’re the best team we’ve played so far.” Auburn’s Kenny Irons ran for a career-high 182 yards in last weekend’s 34-17 win at Arkansas. Auburn rallied from a 10-6 halftime deficit after two first-half interceptions of sophomore Brandon Cox, his first since he threw four in the 23-14 loss to Georgia Tech. “We threw the ball too much in the Georgia Tech game. That was my fault,” Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said. “We didn’t stick with our running game, and it cost us in the long run.” Irons will start this week after his impressive performance. Brad Lester, who made his first start last weekend, is now out with a groin injury. After losing running backs Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown as well as quarterback Jason Campbell to the NFL, Auburn (5-1, 3-0) has experienced some growing pains. “We had young running backs when you lose two first-round draft picks that really had not started and they didn’t know the offense as well,” Tuberville said. “Along with a new quarterback, you’re going to have problems. We were trying to learn as much about our players as they were about the offense.” LSU’s defense held Florida’s Chris Leak to 107 yards on 11-of-30 passing last weekend. The Gators went 2 of 16 on third down. LSU also leads the SEC in rushing defense at 69.8 yards per game. And Miles thinks his team can still improve. “We have not played a complete football game yet,” he said. “Offense, defense and special teams. If we can do that, we might beat a lot of good teams.” LSU needs to beat Auburn to avoid falling two games behind in the loss column in the SEC West race. Alabama (6-0, 4-0) leads the division by a half-game. After wins over Mississippi State, Ball State, Western Kentucky, South Carolina and Arkansas, Auburn is excited to play a fellow SEC title contender. “I feel like we’re back on track to where we want to be from the letdown the first game of the season,” Taylor said. “This is the game. This is it.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “Everybody’s going to be (wondering) how good Auburn really is. And I love it,” receiver Courtney Taylor said. “We want to show where we’re at.” Auburn beat LSU 10-9 last season on Taylor’s touchdown with 1:14 remaining. John Vaughn initially missed the extra point, but a penalty gave him a second chance. Auburn finished the season 13-0. This week, Auburn puts its 13- game winning streak against Southeastern Conference opponents on the line. LSU (4-1, 3-1 SEC) has won three straight since a 30-27 overtime loss to Tennessee. Last weekend, LSU beat No. 18 Florida 21-17 despite five turnovers. “Obviously, we need to eliminate those things,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “We cannot continue to have success and beat good football teams if we’re turning the ball over.” Both LSU and Auburn have run the ball well lately, taking some pressure off their young quarterbacks. LSU’s Joseph Addai ran for a career-high 156 yards and a touchdown against Florida, helping his team overcome two interceptions of sophomore JaMarcus Russell. Addai leads the SEC with 107.4 yards rushing per game. No. 16 Auburn travels to Baton Rouge, La., to play No. 7 LSU tonight in a matchup of the last two SEC champions. After losing its opener to Georgia Tech, Auburn has bounced back with five easy wins. But those victories were against mediocre competition, and Auburn understands it’s still an unknown commodity.