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Auburn's defenders answer the call, shut down LSU
Oct. 5, 2014

Auburn defense stuffs LSU's Darrel Williams on a Saturday night in Jordan-Hare Stadium

By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala.  When Auburn defenders talked among themselves last week, said linebacker Kris Frost, "we talked about our ability and how good we can be."
Auburn defense showed more than a glimpse of that Saturday night. The Tigers held LSU to 0-for-13 in third-down conversions, allowed 280 mostly-meaningless yards and helped Auburn win 41-7 in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
"It's incredible. Being able to do that against a team like LSU is a big plus for us," Frost said.
Auburn led 31-7 at the half, setting the tone early with an offense that included Nick Marshall accounting for four touchdowns, and a defense that rattled LSU freshman quarterback Brandon Harris. 
The Tigers had seven tackles for a loss, and defensive lineman Gabe Wright said the success grew as the game went on, with players saying on the sidelines, "It's your time. It's your time. And that guy would go out and make a play."
Auburn had 31 points at the same time that Harris was 1-for-8 passing despite the fact the Tigers didn't start either of their starting linebackers, who were hurt last week; and lost defensive back Nick Ruffin when he was ejected for a targeting penalty.
Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson said he wasn't sure about the Ruffin call, but he was sure that Jordan-Hare Stadium is a tough place for a freshman quarterback to make his first college start.
"They had a young quarterback who started in a very hostile environment. I thought our crowd was just unbelievable, and that helps a lot," Johnson said.
Auburn figured LSU would try to help its young quarterback by establishing the running game. Auburn didn't allow that to happen. 
"We really did a good job in the box not letting them get their running game going because that was going to be his best friend," Johnson said.
The tone was set in the first quarter when LSU rushed for 44 yards on the way to 96 total yards. Auburn had a whopping 247 yards in the first quarter.
Auburn didn't start linebackers Cassanova McKinzy, who was suffered a mild concussion last Saturday; and Frost, who suffered a sprained MCL. Anthony Swain and Tre' Williams started in their place, but all four played.
The loss of Ruffin, Johnson said, "started the shuffle, started the dominos" in his secondary. "But I'm proud of the players who did step in."
Defensive back Jonathon Mincy was already in there chasing Harris.
"It was part of the plan coming in. We wanted to disguise schemes and we all came out and did our jobs," Mincy said.

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



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