Auburn's Will Muschamp playing rookies and veterans alike
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Will Muschamp says he didn't use last week's open date to spend extra time with the freshmen who aren't playing because, well, they're all playing.
Seems like it, anyway.
Auburn's defensive coordinator says he worked with his players like always through last week's open date and during this week's preparation for Thursday's 6 p.m. game at Kentucky on ESPN.
Muschamp demonstrated from the beginning he wasn't afraid to play his young players. Seven of the 11 true freshmen who played in the season-opener were on defense. Redshirt freshmen played, too.
In all, 19 players have made their first Auburn start this season, including 12 on defense. Twenty-four players have appeared in their first-ever Auburn game.
Muschamp says the need for a consistent pass rush is one of his goals for young players, and old players as well, and that starts, he says, with the defensive line.
"We've got to win some one-on-ones, and I thought that there was some steps forward as far as our last game was concerned," he said.
But the quick pass makes it more difficult for the defensive push to affect a quarterback.
"The ball is out very quickly nowadays. We've got to generate some pressure and be able to do that with four rushing, and when we do pressure and bring five or six, we need to be able to get home.”
"We've got to create more negative plays in the early downs to create more favorable third-down situations. When you’re able to generate more negative plays, which means winning one-on-one in the pass rush or creating a tackle for a loss in a run-game situations to get people behind the sticks more."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine