Arkansas State defensive coordinator had praise for a trio of Red Wolves following the 27-27 victory over Georgia Southern last week.
One of those was linebacker Kyle Wilson, a junior college transfer who have moved into the starting lineup. He led with 14 tackles.
“ Outside of one play he played really consistent,’’ said Cauthen. “It is the most consistent he has been all year. He has gotten better each and every week. It is just taking a hwle. His consistent fits, his tackling has improved. His physicality was good to have out there. That was probably the biggest thing.”
Coach Blake Anderson said Wilson is learning the game, a lot like quarterback Justice Hansen. He also called him a larger Khari Lain.
“You see so much as a defensive player,’’ said Cauthen. “There is so much stuff out there now. It takes a while. It is very difficult to come out and play right now. It has been an ongoing process. I challenged him to come in and watch more film and to come in and watch film with me. He did that last week and he helped himself there. He helped himself by coming in and begin a student of the game.”
Senior defensive end Chase Robison
“He's taking coaching a lot more,’’ said Cauthen. “Brian Early does a great job with those guys. If you don’t do well in practice you don’t play. He’s earned that spot. He’s a joy to watch. He plays so hard. His effort level is what is allowing him to play.
Freshman defensive back Trent Brewer-Ellis
“You know Trent did a real good job. He really did. We came back in and but Justin (Clifton) in for the second half. Justin did not do much. He lost a couple of keys so we put Trent back in. That makes us feel better. We dont have to put Xavier over there now that Trent can do it. I would say right now that competition is up. It is not sold that it is Justin Clifton. I could be Trent. We will probably know that Wednesday.
Sound the alarm
Cauthen talked about the issues created by being the DC on a team that wants to play fast.
“Our first two years here it was a little bit of a thorn for us. Because of the type of offense we have we are going to be on the field quite a bit. We do play so fast; that doesn't include the turnovers. We are going to get a lot of snaps defensively.
“Generally since we have been here we have played more snaps than anyone in the league. So Blake's big deal is to hold people to field goals or field goal opportunities instead of touchdowns. So that has been a challenge from him and we have consistently tried to work at that. We've been preaching that to the kids.
“We have taken an approach like a fireman has. It doesn't matter who it is where it is how big it is we have got to go out and put the fire out. That was kinda our motto last week. We have not done a good job of that this year so we tried to change that attitude kinda like we did with the takeaway belt last year. We give them something to rally around. I dont know if you heard it but we sounded off an alarm on the sideline. A fire alarm. It is time to put our hats on and our boots on and go to work and do your job. And our guys did a real good job of doing that. Kind of a rally cry for them.”