5 Auburn Tigers to Watch vs. Kansas State

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Sep 6, 2014; Auburn, AL, USA; San Jose State Spartans quarterback Blake Jurich (14) is brought by Auburn Tigers defensive back Jonathon Mincy (6) during the second half at Jordan Hare Stadium. The Tigers defeated the Spartans 59-13. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

#6 Jonathon Mincy, 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, Senior, Cornerback

Is there a better SEC cornerback against the run than Jonathon Mincy? Most corners are concerned only with defending receivers and limiting big plays in the passing game. But Mincy has shown another part of his skillset in two games this season.

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So far, the senior has 14 total tackles, which ranks second on the team to middle linebacker Cassanova McKinzy. Mincy also ranks second with two tackles for loss and he even recorded a sack last week while defending a San Jose State trick play on a double pass attempt.

However, Mincy has not been truly tested in the passing game. Arkansas had some success through play action, but primarily used their tight ends as targets. The Spartans struck for a 75-yard touchdown, but the play came on a wheel route from running back Tyler Ervin, which was a linebacker’s coverage responsibility.

This week against Kansas State, Mincy and the rest of the Auburn secondary will have their hands full with one of the best receivers in the nation. Senior Tyler Lockett is small in stature at 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds, but he has the ability to make big plays for the Wildcats. In fact, he had 1,262 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2013 and 136 yards last week.

Lockett was a second team All-American last year and entered 2014 with his eyes on a first team selection. Mincy will spend plenty of time Thursday night matched up with Lockett, and we’ll see how good the senior can be defending the passing attack.