Auburn report card: Defense doing ‘A’ work, but offense not so much

Kam Martin ran for 90 yards against Southern Miss. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
Kam Martin ran for 90 yards against Southern Miss. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) /
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The Auburn defense had another flag-flying day against Southern Miss. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) /

Defense: A

The beauty of the Auburn defense is that you never know which player is going to make a play. Kevin Steele runs in and out so many players that it really is a thing to watch unfold when the defense plays the way it did against Southern Miss.

There were so many strong individual performances.

  • It starts at linebacker where Deshaun Davis (team-high 10 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss) and Darrell Williams (9 tackles, 2.5 for loss) lived in the Southern Miss backfield making one play after another and chasing down backs from sideline to sideline.
  • On the defensive line, Derrick Brown had 2.0 tackles for a loss and a big sack of Jack Abraham. Marlon Davidson had four tackles and him and Dontavius Russell both had tackles behind the line of scrimmage. So did Nick Coe (1.5 tackles for loss).
  • The secondary was on fire. Freshman Christian Tutt and Jeremiah Dinson had interceptions. Jordyn Peters had 2.5 tackles for loss plus a fumble recovery and Noah Igbinoghene looked flat-out tough in coverage and tackling. Smoke Monday added four tackles and Jamel Dean was solid.

When Southern Miss climbed with eight points in the fourth quarter and the Auburn offense stalled time after time, the defense was there. Three consecutive times it held. The first two times the defense forced three-and-outs and the final time, Tutt’s interception on second down led to the game-clinching field goal.