Once again, Auburn’s defense struggled to get a stop against the opposing offense’s script on the first drive of the day. But after some chunk plays, mostly via the feet of Justin McMillan, Auburn’s defense buckled down and forced the field goal.
That would be the best drive of the night for the Green Wave.
Auburn was dominant on 3rd down all night only allowing two conversions on fifteen attempts and stopped both of Tulane’s 4th down attempts. Tulane’s offense was only able to muster 223 yards all night. Put simply, Auburn’s defense was dominant.
Like last week, I went back and tried to track snaps played for Auburn’s defense. I want to again reiterate that these numbers are likely not perfect. Considering I came out to 63 plays while the official stats say there were 64 (I suspect they are counting a penalty play that I did not bother to note down), I would look at these numbers more as general trend of how much action certain players are seeing each week rather than a perfect tally of snaps played.
- #5 Derrick Brown - 47 snaps
- #3 Marlon Davidson - 46 snaps
- #1 Big Kat Bryant - 44 snaps
- #91 Nick Coe - 41 snaps
- #94 Tyrone Truesdell - 39 snaps
- #44 Daquan Newkirk - 12 snaps
- #55 T.D. Moultry - 9 snaps
- #97 Gary Walker - 8 snaps
- #29 Derick Hall - 6 snaps
Once again Derrick Brown, Marlon Davidson and Big Kat Bryant were ironmen up front. Tyrone Truesdell and Nick Coe continue to see about equal snaps though outside of clear passing down situations, I did not notice Coe sliding inside much Saturday night. Instead, Davidson got some work at defensive tackle for a handful of snaps while Coe spent much of his time at defensive end.
While Auburn’s defense saw less snaps this past weekend, Newkirk actually played a bit more than he did against Oregon. He appears to be emerging as Auburn’s likely #3 interior defensive lineman. If he can get to playing 20+ productive snaps a game, Auburn could bring Brown’s high snap countdown some and possibly allow him to be fresher in the 4th quarter when the Tigers need some big stops. With that said, Brown hasn’t looked winded at all this fall so I guess let the big man eat.
Moultry saw more action this week but honestly continues to show the same problems as last season. He got burned a handful of times on the read option, screaming inside to take the running back only to notice too late that McMillan was keeping the ball. He’s GOT to get more disciplined if he wants to be a crucial piece of this DL rotation because Derick Hall is breathing down his neck. Very interested to see how much action both get this Saturday.
Finally, the biggest surprise of this past weekend was the lack of Coynis Miller. He didn’t play a ton against Oregon so I am not sure if he is still recovering from his shoulder issue or if Rodney Garner was not happy with what he saw in those limited snaps. Either way, former walk on Gary Walker took his spot in the rotation and I thought did fine. But Auburn really needs the light to come on for both Miller and Moultry because next season the Tigers need that pair to be ready to go.
- #10 Owen Pappoe - 40 snaps
- #33 K.J. Britt - 37 snaps
- #35 Zakoby McClain - 22 snaps
- #31 Chandler Wooten - 18 snaps
After an extremely impressive debut against Oregon, I thought Auburn’s linebackers had a relatively quiet night this past Saturday. A big reason was due to Auburn’s dominance up front. By the time they arrived to a ball carrier, the play was usually already over.
Tulane often found themselves behind the sticks which meant Auburn played a lot of Dime (6 defensive backs, 1 linebacker) this past weekend. Pappoe is typically the Dime backer which helps explain why he saw the most action. It’s clear Auburn’s most trusted pairing is Britt and Pappoe but Zakoby McClain got a bit more work against Tulane. I suspect we will see some new names on this list come next week.
- #20 Jeremiah Dinson - 62 snaps
- #4 Noah Igbinoghene - 61 snaps
- #24 Daniel Thomas - 57 snaps
- #6 Christian Tutt - 48 snaps
- #13 Javaris Davis - 44 snaps
- #23 Roger McCreary - 31 snaps
- #9 Jermaine Sherwood - 10 snaps
- #21 Smoke Monday - 9 snaps
Take these numbers with the biggest grain of salt as tracking who is on the field at DB is the hardest due to the inability to see the whole field via the broadcast angle. With that said, it’s pretty clear that Auburn has a ton of faith in senior safeties Dinson and Thomas along with junior corner Igbinoghene. Those three continue to see the majority of the work on the backend of the defense.
Davis continues to out snap McCreary but that’s because he also sees work at the Star position in Auburn’s defense. For the second straight week, McCreary ended up seeing more action than Davis at the corner spot opposite Iggy. Either way, Auburn clearly has three cornerbacks they consider starters.
It’s been really hard for Sherwood and Monday to see a ton of playing time but I can’t really blame the staff. Dinson and Thomas have been outstanding through the first two weeks of the season and given all the inexperience at linebacker, I imagine Steele likes having two veterans on the field making sure everyone is doing what they should. My guess is Auburn’s sophomore tandem get to see a lot of action against Kent State.