Montravius Adams (above) and his teammates are on a four-game winning streak.
Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn defense expected to have a strong performance against Arkansas after putting together a string of solid outings, according to defensive tackle Montravius Adams. Yet for he and his teammates, the way in which the Tigers crushed the Razorbacks was something Adams will always remember.
“This proves to us that we can be as good as we want to be when we go out on the field,” Adams remarked when asked about what the performance of the defense meant for them going forward. “To me that’s all it really says. To be a senior and to be a leader of the team, it’s great to see you and your teammates out there playing ball.”
The Tigers had weren’t lacking any confidence before Saturday, and it showed in how they played. However, none of the players could have predicted the 56-3 shellacking they dished out to the Hogs.
“Everybody thinks they can win the game,” Adams said, “but I wouldn’t say we expected it to be like that. At the end of the day everybody expects to win.”
The defensive line in particular had a field day with the Arkansas offensive line collapsing the pocket time after time and causing much distress for Razorback QB Austin Allen. In total the Tigers had four sacks and a whopping 15 quarterback hurries.
“Defensively we feel like we have the upper hand in every game just from what our coaches tell us to do,” Adams admitted. “As long as we go out (and execute) we’ll put ourselves in a good position.”
Adams recorded five tackles with two for losses, half a sack and two QB hurries, but it was defensive end Carl Lawson who showed out with one of his best outings in an Auburn uniform. Constantly in the opposing backfield, Lawson racked up a team-high seven quarterback hurries to go along with two tackles and half a sack. Adams said he believes the junior will only get better, too.
“I feel like every week (Lawson) comes out he’ll play a better game,” Adams added. “That’s how Coach (Kevin) Steele wants us to play as a defense, just to improve every week. If this is his best game that means next week’s going to be better. I just want him to keep doing as good as he’s doing.”
While the defensive linemen have been receiving much deserved praise, the linebackers have been putting together an impressive season as well. Middle linebacker DeShaun Davis said that Auburn’s D-line was “as good as any” after routing Arkansas, and Adams returned the compliments to Davis over the weekend.
“(Davis) has brought that mentality of just being a dog out there,” said Adams. “You always want your defensive line to have trust like, ‘Okay, we might put somebody back and might not make the tackle, but we have got somebody in there who is going to fill that hole up and it’s most likely going to be a hard hit.’ He’s just out there making plays and running around each and every game.”
Adams has been a contributor for the Auburn defense going back to his freshman season.
All in all, the most important thing for Adams has been helping improve the reputation of the Auburn defense which now sits at third in the nation in scoring defense (14.1 points per game) and 18th in total defense (328 yards per game).
“It really means a lot to me,” Adams said. “For me to be a senior, I feel like I’ve helped lead the team. I feel like I contributed a lot to the team. It’s really just a blessing. The defense for Auburn can be known as a good defense. That’s all I’ve ever really wanted since I’ve been here. That’s something we’ve never really been known for since the old days. That’s all I’ve ever really wanted to be honest.”
The Tigers have another opportunity this week to show what they can do against SEC West competition when they travel to Oxford, Miss., to take on the Ole Miss Rebels. Kickoff is set for 6:15 p.m. CDT on Saturday from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium with television coverage on the SEC Network.