By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Senior Montravius Adams, a defensive tackle by trade, saw a little bit of himself in Derrick Brown in last Saturday's win over Vanderbilt.
Brown, a freshman, was asked to slid over from tackle to defensive end to fill in for Marlon Davidson on occasion, and, by all accounts, did just fine. Or sort of like Adams has done in years past.
"That's good knowing that you can have a freshman that played a couple of games and now he switches his position to D-end in like a week, and he goes out and has great production," Adams said. "It really just says a lot about him about him as a player."
It says a lot about Auburn's defensive line, too, the group that has won accolades for pressuring quarterbacks this season. That defensive line will have another chance to show its stuff Saturday at Georgia in a 2:30 p.m. Central time game on CBS.
Adams said "seeing all the publicity about Auburn's defense" is rewarding for a veteran. "It really is exciting to be a defensive player and now you hear about the defense." Coach Gus Malzahn has praised the defensive line as well.
"We've always seen ourselves as what we could be," Adams said. " At the end of the day, you have to go out and prove it." And how has that been going? "We won't know that answer until the end of the season."
The starting defensive line is quite a collection, from Adams, the senior; to Carl Lawson, a junior; to Dontavius Russell, a sophomore; to Davidson, the freshman. There's another wave of guys who play, too. Adams says they're quite a cast of characters
"Everything is not always supposed to be serious and everything is not supposed to be a game," Adams said. "At a certain time, it's knowing when to bring your personality out. Everybody's personality just fits together and it helps us out."
But when the whistle blows, the defensive line has been ready. Auburn has 56 tackles for a loss, led by Lawson with 10, and Adams and Davidson with six each.
Brown had a half-tackle for a loss last Saturday in his 20 plays. Davidson had one tackle for a loss in his 45 plays.
Adams, who played inside and out as a sophomore, said his "main tip" to Brown was "just to focus, focus and take coaching. At the end of the day, you’ve just got to focus, learn the plays, and just go out and try to execute."
Brown's easy move may have been aided by the season-long plan of defensive coordinator Kevin Steele. "We want to be simple," Adams said. "We want everybody to know their assignments, so when it comes their time to play it’s easy to go out there and execute."
Auburn has not allowed a rushing defense in the last six games, the longest streak since 2004. The Tigers are ninth nationally in scoring defense, and eight of Auburn's nine opponents have been held to 20 points or less.
Auburn is one of six teams nationally that hasn't allowed 30 points in a game.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine