Auburn Football: Defensive and Special Teams Grades vs Louisiana Tech

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Sep 27, 2014; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers defensive tackle Montravius Adams (1) celebrates an interception during the first half against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

So, the Auburn football team is a defensive powerhouse now – right?

For the second consecutive non-conference game, it was the Tigers’ defense that overshadowed the Auburn offense. Saturday against Louisiana Tech, defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson’s crew held the Bulldogs to a manageable 105 rushing yards along with 215 yards through the air. While those figures are not exactly dominant, it shows the progress the defense has made in Johnson’s second season.

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Last year, the Tigers’ D was often seen as a liability. The numbers provided some proof – 420.7 yards of total offense allowed per game, which ranked 12th in the SEC and 86th nationally – though they did rise to the occasion often for turnovers and big stops. Plus, it is difficult to put up sparkling defensive numbers when your offensive teammates operate one of the fastest paced scoring machines in the nation.

Through four games, Auburn has allowed an average of 90.75 rushing yards per game (an improvement of 72 yards over last year’s squad) and 222.5 passing yards, which has shaved 36.1 yards off of last season’s average. Even better, opponents are scoring just 16.25 points per game, which is more than a full touchdown lower that 2013’s 24.7-point average.

The Tigers will be tested by better offenses than Louisiana Tech, and it wasn’t a perfect performance Saturday, but the play of the defense is certainly encouraging heading into a brutal stretch of SEC games.

But, how did each unit fare in our weekly position grades?