Auburn Defense and Special Teams vs Kansas State: Position Grades

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Sep 18, 2014; Manhattan, KS, USA; Kansas State Wildcats running back DeMarcus Robinson (20) carries the ball during first-half action against the Auburn Tigers at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports


If there were a defensive player of the game, Kris Frost would likely receive the honor. The junior linebacker led the team with two very important sacks – the first of which pushed Kansas State out of the red zone (and also caused a fumble that the Wildcats recovered), and forced them to attempt a long field goal before the half.

As you probably recall, Kansas State kicker Jack Cantele missed the kick and preserved a 10-7 Auburn lead after two quarters. Frost’s second sack occurred one play before a second half interception. Needless to say, the pressure Frost applied helped to keep momentum on the Auburn side.

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According to Ellis Johnson Sunday, despite Frost’s strong results on the stat sheet, Cassanova McKinzy has played just as well; he just “doesn’t have the sacks.” McKinzy accounted for four solo tackles against Kansas State. Reserve linebacker Anthony Swain “played ten snaps, and he needs to play more,” according to Johnson. Swain recorded an assist Thursday.

Robenson Therezie and Justin Garret were also solid. The two play the hybrid linebacker/defensive back “Star” position for the Auburn defense. Therezie finished the game with four tackles, including one for a loss. He also recovered a Jake Waters’ fumble on K-State’s first drive to set the Tigers up with great field position. Garrett added a tackle.

Overall, the linebackers have been the most consistent position group on defense this season, and that continued against K-State. Frost has improved each game, and McKinzy has been solid as a rock at the middle linebacker position. If Swain can emerge as a solid backup that will be able to spell the starters on occasion, the linebackers should continue to provide great plays for the Tigers.

Grade: A