Linebacker Duo Confident In Auburn Defense

Auburn linebackers Jake Holland and Kris Frost talk about the prep for the BCS National Championship showdown against Florida State.

Newport Beach, Calif.--With one day left before the #2 Auburn Tigers take on top-ranked Florida State in the BCS National Championship Game, all that is left is talk with all the prep work done for both teams. While Auburn's running game vs. the Florida State defense has been much of the talk leading up to the game, even more important for Coach Gus Malzahn's team may be how well the Tigers play on defense against the most productive offense in the country.

In charge of leading Auburn's defense on the field is a pair of linebackers that have worked together all season long to make the transition to Ellis Johnson's defense a smooth one. Senior Jake Holland and sophomore Kris Frost have shared the middle linebacker duties and together they have put up some pretty solid numbers. Combining for 97 tackles in 13 games, both will once again see plenty of action against the Seminoles and Holland said come game time the Tigers will be ready.

"We have just put in more time and we definitely have more time to prepare," Holland said. "That has been a good thing for us. We really know what they do.

"They have good athletes," he added. "They definitely have the personnel, but we know what they do. We know their tendencies and we have a good gameplan in."

Led by Heisman winner Jameis Winston, Florida State enters Monday night's game averaging 53 points and 529.4 yards of total offense per game in 2013. Needing just 28 points to break Oklahoma's single-season scoring record for a team, the Seminoles have plenty of talent to get the job done in the Rose Bowl, but Frost said this team is prepared because of what it faced in the SEC this season.

"Playing in the SEC it's a constant battle of knowing what you have to go up against, whether that's a great receiver, great quarterback or great running back. It's a new challenge and every game offers a new challenge and new adventure for us. We know we're going to have to play tough and do well about getting back in our drops and be mobile because their quarterback is so mobile."

Holland is one of several players that have experience in this setting after playing against Oregon in the title game in 2010. With Chris Davis, Dee Ford, Nosa Eguae and Jeffrey Whitaker all part of that defense that played well in a win over the Ducks, Holland said this time around it feels a little different being a seasoned veteran.

"As a freshman you're eyes are kind of wide," Holland said on looking back to 2010. "It's a different experience being a senior. Now I feel a lot more comfortable and a lot more experienced. I can really enjoy the time. It's going to be my last game here at Auburn and I'm definitely going to enjoy every bit of it and go out with a strong game."

Kris Frost

A player that committed to the Tigers just days before that win in Arizona, Frost said having those veterans around is huge for him and the rest of the defense because of what they've been through in the last four years.

"It's a great because they are more relaxed with everything," Frost said. "They know how to deal with all the media and they know how to talk to you and how to practice. Those vets that have been here before, it's great to be able to pick their brain a little bit and see what they know. It really propels the other players forward in being more mature."

With all the hay is the barn all that's left for the Tigers is to go out and slow down an offense that the experts say can't be stopped by this Auburn defense. That's the same thing they said in 2010 when Oregon rolled in averaging 49.3 points per game and Auburn allowing 26.5 per contest. Auburn allowed just 19 points in the win that day. It's something that Holland said he thinks about a lot heading into this game.

"We've seen it done before," Holland said. "We know it can be done. The older group in 2010 really set the bar for us. We definitely want to model our game after them."

Confident this defense can once again make the plays it takes to win the game late, Frost said the lack of respect has been a driving force all season long and it will be once again on Monday.

"It fuels me every single day," Frost said. "It makes me want to work hard every single day. I know it does for the rest of our defense as well. We know that we have come up with some great stops this year and we have made some great plays. It just makes us want to work harder and make even more plays. We're going to come out hungry this game and be ready to go."

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