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'Big-time plays' but Auburn's Ellis Johnson wants more
Oct. 27, 2014

Cassanova McKinzy sizes up South Carolina's offense

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala.  His starting linebackers were productive in Saturday's win over South Carolina. Kris Frost had 14 tackles. Cassanova McKinzy had six tackles and an interception. Cornerback Jonathan Jones had two interceptions in the end zone.

"We had a lot of guys I thought stepped and made some big-time plays," said Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson.

But, sometimes, on the defense as whole, Auburn was wasn't as consistent as Johnson wanted it to be.

What we had here was a failure to communicate.

"We just didn't have the consistency and it came from a lot of communication mistakes on checks and adjustments," Johnson said.

No. 4 Auburn beat South Carolina 42-35 and now will hit the road for a 6 p.m. Saturday game at No. 7 Ole Miss.

Johnson said the miscommunication was an issue before "but not nearly to that degree. It was more like they reverted back to where they weren't sure about some of their adjustments."

"We had some individuals make some great individual plays, numerous plays, but we didn't play good team football," he said.

Seven games in, Johnson is still looking for that elusive pass rush. South Carolina threw it 53 times, but Auburn didn't have a sack, though did have 10 quarterback hurries and three interceptions. The Tigers have mixed and matched its defensive line all year looking for more ways to pressure quarterbacks.

"Guys still aren't getting there. We did not play well in a lot of areas, but if you can get the ball out of the guy's hand or get him on the ground a few times and get him tired, it would sure help," Johnson said. " 

Auburn survived South Carolina drop-back quarterback Dylan Thompson. It now draws Ole Miss play-action quarterback Bo Wallace.

"Their timing on it is just unbelievable," Johnson said. "I don't mean to say pass rush is not important, it always is. But it won't be the same type of game in that you have a guy dropping back in the pocket, throwing the ball. This is going to be more of a play-action game, and ball coming out quick, and I bet they don't have many sacks because the ball does come out so quickly."

Ole Miss has allowed 19 sacks, actually one of the worst figures in the SEC. That gives Auburn an opportunity.

"Guys have to step up," Johnson said. "We don't have a waiver wire, and can't trade any of them. But we've got to get some guys to put in some production on the field."

The weekend:
• Auburn's win over South CarolinaThe game story
• Playmakers: They made the plays
• Surprise: It's Brandon Fulse
• Notebook: Jonathan Jones and a record night for Jordan-Hare
• The offense: Good grade from Rhett Lashlee

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



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