Auburn Football: Defensive and Special Teams Grades vs Louisiana Tech

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Sep 27, 2014; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers linebacker Justin Garrett (26) and defensive back Jonathon Mincy (6) tackle Louisiana Tech Bulldogs running back Kenneth Dixon (28) during the first half at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports


All things considered, the linebacker corps played well. Unfortunately, they were hit hard with injuries – specifically to starters Cassanova McKinzy and Kris Frost.

“They are kind of day-to-day,” Ellis Johnson said Sunday. “Cass actually got kicked in the chin and that caused a little mild concussion. He seemed pretty good today. We don’t do much on Sundays, but he didn’t practice.”

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Before leaving early in the third quarter, McKinzy was the active middle linebacker we all expected him to be this season, accounting for nine total tackles, five of which were solo efforts. One of the junior’s tackles resulted in a one-yard LA Tech loss.

Outside linebacker Kris Frost suffered his injury much earlier in the contest.

“Frost was moving around a little bit,” Johnson added. “He got fallen on. On the interception a guy fell on his leg.”

Statistically, Frost was credited with only one quarterback hurry in the game. His injury led to more playing time for backup Anthony Swain, which is something Johnson had hoped for following the Kansas State game. Of course, Johnson didn’t hope the additional playing time would be injury-related. Swain registered two solo tackles and two assists, 1.5 tackles for a loss and a QB hurry.

True freshman Tre’ Williams also saw the field quite a bit due to the maladies suffered by his teammates. Williams was part of seven tackles Saturday against Louisiana Tech – the most in his young career – four of which were solo stops. Sophomore JaViere Mitchell was credited with two assists and Khari Harding had one, as did true freshman Raashed Kennion, who also put pressure on the quarterback once.

But the story of the day was injuries.

“We’ve got a bunch of them. Another one has a bruised shin. We’ve got a bruised bone. Swain has a very mild sprain,” Johnson said. “Just banged up. We need these 48 hours for sure.”

Grade: B+