Auburn's Byron Cowart, left, and Devaroe Lawrence celebrate a defensive play
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. ― Will Muschamp figured Carl Lawson would play 30-35 snaps last Saturday in his return from a hip injury.
Carl Lawson apparently had other ideas.
Muschamp, Auburn's defensive coordinator, says the defensive end was in for 52-or-so snaps after a six-game layoff, brought leadership to the Tigers and helped the defense to some positive moments. Ole Miss beat Auburn 27-19 last weekend, but Muschamp says the Tigers found some things to build on heading to Saturday's game at Texas A&M.
"I told our guys offensively, defensively and special teams, there are six to eight snaps in every game that make the difference in every game. We’ve got to start making those on defense," Muschamp said. "That's really the frustrating part is we've had some opportunities
"We played extremely well in the red zone.
"Our front did a nice job, regardless of the statistics. From the standpoint of doing what you need to do to put yourself in a position to win the game, we had that opportunity defensively and we didn't get it done."
But Muschamp found some good things:
• On Carl Lawson:
"He's a guy that is worried about his team and his teammates. He's very unselfish. He always thinks about the team and what’s best for our football team. That’s the kind of young men you want on our team. That’s how you win and how you win big when you have very talented guys that put the team first. He certainly is a guy that does that."
Certainly, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin had nice things to say about Lawson in this story.
• On defensive tackle Devaroe Lawrence:
"He played his best game Saturday… I'm very pleased with how he continues to develop. The guy is just continuing to come around and improve his work habits. He's always had a great attitude, he's a wonderful young man. He's just continuing to increase his work capacity and that's always been an issue. So far, I have been very pleased with how he's progressed."
• On freshman defensive back Carlton Davis:
"He competes. That’s the thing. You're going to match him up against (Ole Miss receiver Laquon) Treadwell, who's a first-round player; he may be a Top 15 pick.
"He embraced that opportunity and I thought he did a fantastic job. Part of being a really good player is having a competitive edge, and he’s got it."
• On freshman defensive lineman Bryon Cowart:
"I think his production has been really good. He's a true freshman in the Southeastern Conference.
"My expectations have been very good for what Byron has accomplished and where he is right now.
"Do we always want more? Absolutely. That's our society. We all want more than what's happening right now. Certainly, there's nobody who wants it more than Byron does."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine