Auburn's DBs come through on a busy night at K-State
Sept. 19, 2014

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Johnny on the spot: Auburn's Jonathan Jones moves in for the interception after a pass bounces off Tyler Lockett

By Charles Goldberg
AuburnTigers.com
 
MANHATTAN, Kansas  Jonathan Jones stayed with the play, just in case.
 
"You never know what's going to happen," he reasoned.
 
What happened was he stopped a would-be Kansas State scoring drive when the ball bounced off receiver Tyler Lockett's hands and into his. That would be a theme for Auburn's defense, which held K-State to 40 yards rushing, grabbed two interceptions and held things together until the Tigers' offense got untracked.
 
Auburn's defense set the tone in a 20-14 win over Kansas State on Thursday night.

For Jones, it was finishing plays.

"Just play through the ball. Coach says you get interceptions on tips and overthrows, and I was in the right place, making plays," Jones said.
 
The stats show K-State had trouble running, considering 30 rushing attempts produced just 40 yards. The Wildcats instead turned to the pass, throwing it 40 times, completing 24 of them and generally keeping a revamped Auburn secondary busy. The Tigers played without Jermaine Whitehead, who was suspended indefinitely before the game, and moved Josh Holsey back to safety to fill the void.
 
"Our defense really did a super job," said Auburn coach Gus Malzahn.
 
When it was over, Holsey was the game's leading tackler with 11 stops, including an impressive 10 scored as solo tackles. Another defensive back, former running back Rudy Ford, was second in tackles for Auburn with eight. Then came linebacker Kris Frost and another defensive back in Jonathon Mincy, with six each. Converted receiver Trovon Reed had an interception.
 
"Everybody was confident back there," Mincy said. 
 
It was Malzahn who said Holsey was moved to safety two days before the game.
 
"Holsey is one of those guys who knows what's going on," Mincy said. "He's familiar with the safety position. It's real big for this team to shuffle players around when somebody goes down."
 
Auburn turned to newer defensive backs, too. Newcomers Stephen Roberts, Nick Ruffin and Derrick Moncrief played a lot. Reed, the former wideout, played a lot as well.
 
Jones said Auburn responded.
 
"What are you going to do in tight situations? We stepped up to the adversity," he said. "We were just prepared. That goes back to the coaches."
 
Kansas State tried, driving into the red zone five times but scoring only twice. Three missed field goals helped Auburn's cause. Also helping was the fact each team had the ball only four times in the second half. And the fact Auburn got the ball in the second half off of a punt, missed field goal, interception and a kickoff.
 
"As the game was going, we were getting stronger," Mincy said.

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter:

 

 

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