What You Need To Know About The Auburn Defense
– There are just enough losses to be annoying – like Jeff Holland on the end, corner Carlton Davis, and safeties Tray Matthews and Stephen Roberts – but the defense that allowed just 319 yards and 18.5 points per game returns loaded, especially up front.
Again, losing Holland and his ten sacks stinks, but the tackle combination of Derrick Brown and Dontavius Russell is as good as any in the country at doing a little of everything right. The pass rush, though, has to rise up quickly on the outside.
– The linebacking corps might not have the star power, but it’ll be outstanding behind the strong defensive front. 5-11, 233-pound Deshaun Davis is back in the middle after leading the team in tackles, and there are more than enough options to form a good rotation at all three spots. Darrell Williams has the 6-2, 240-pound frame and skills to do more in the backfield, but he’s a rock of a tackler at one outside job.
– The defensive backs are there even with three starters gone. Jamel Dean should do more in a bigger role at one corner in place of Carlton Davis, and Javaris Davis is a sound veteran on the other side.
The safety spots, though, will be the key. Jeremiah Dinson and Daniel Thomas got more than enough work to be ready for the full-time starting roles, but overall the depth has to emerge fast, including for the nickel job. And now, the secondary has to come up with …
Biggest Key To The Auburn Defense
More picks, more picks, more picks. The 2014 Auburn defense took away everything, coming up with 22 interceptions. There was a big drop-off the year after with just 14, and then it became an issue in 2016 with just 11. Last season?
Six. Six interceptions, and two of them came against Mississippi State, and two came against ULM.
That means the Tigers failed to come up with a pick in ten games, and after those two against the Bulldogs, didn’t intercept a pass in eight of the last nine games.