Continuing to make progress in his play for Coach Will Muschamp in the secondary, his pick in the end zone against Kentucky on Thursday night was one of the biggest plays of the game for the Tigers on defense.
Holding a 14-7 advantage late in the first quarter, Auburn had Kentucky backed up to its own seven-yard line before the Wildcats went on a march that encompassed the length of the field. Nine plays and 85 yards later Kentucky had the ball at the Auburn eight. Taking a shot into the end zone on first and goa, the Wildcats challenged Davis, but the freshman came through with what would turn out to be a huge play for the Tigers in the win.
“It was off-man coverage,” Davis said. “I knew we needed a turnover. I didn’t want them to tie the game up so I made a play. I was going back to watch Coach was stressing this whole week saying we need turnovers. That’s what I did.”
It was the only turnover of the night for either team, but it was another big play for an Auburn defense that has had too few so far this season. However, in the last two games the Tigers have done a much better job of creating more opportunities for the offense, something Davis said has been stressed by Muschamp, secondary coach Travaris Robinson and the rest of the defensive staff.
In his first season with the Tigers, Davis has already shown the potential to be the next outstanding cornerback for Auburn down the road. Even though he’s given up his share of plays this season it hasn’t been because of a lack of coverage skills. Still developing his technique work at the position, Davis has a chance to be one of the players to build around in the coming years for Muschamp.
Right now, however, the goal is just to find a way to make enough plays to get a victory. Allowing 497 yards to Kentucky in the win, Auburn’s defense has seen opponent after opponent torch them for yardage and points in the first six games. Starting with Louisville’s 405 yards in week one, the Tigers have given up 438 to Jacksonville State, 485 to LSU, 326 to Mississippi State,and 406 to San Jose State.
With a physical Arkansas team coming up next Auburn's defense has to continue to improve in all areas, Davis said. Coming off a bye week the Tigers were up and down as they found a way to get the win with a last-minute stop of the Wildcats. Getting back on the practice field Sunday night Davis said it’s time to go to work.
“I’m not proud of the 500 yards,” Davis said. “I didn’t even notice until I looked at the scoreboard. We made plays, but at the same time we’ve still got to improve as a defense. I feel like 27 points is too much. When we get back out there so we can go back to basics and correct everything.”