Auburn football: Defense reshuffles with loss of edge Eku Leota

The Auburn football team faced some serious losses on the defensive side of things heading into the 2022 season. Chandler Wooten, Zakoby McClain, Roger McCreary, and others finished up their time on the Plains, and the dynamic duo of Derick Hall and Eku Leota rose from the ashes.

Both of the pass rushers have been incredible leaders and huge assets on the field this season, but only one will continue playing in 2022. In the LSU matchup, Leota suffered a pectoral injury that will require surgery, and he is likely out for the rest of the year.

The loss of Leota is a big one for this struggling Auburn team as one of the most effective pass rushers. Until his injury, he recorded 17 tackles, two sacks, and three quarterback hurries.

Now, Auburn football will head into their toughest game of the season so far, a road test against the #2 Georgia Bulldogs, with a defense that is forced to shuffle the depth chart. According to Tom Green, the Tigers’ defense will switch to the 4-2-5 grouping, add a nickel, and utilize only one edge, Derick Hall, in the scheme with Dylan Brooks listed as his backup.

Marcus Bragg, who was previously a backup edge alongside Brooks, will now back up Colby Wooden at defensive end, and usual punt returner Keionte Scott will start at nickel with true freshman Austin Ausberry as his backup.

With Stetson Bennett leading the Dawgs’ offense in Athens this weekend, the Auburn defense is going to have to be on top of their game, even if one of their best will have to watch from the sidelines.