Q&A With Linebacker Mark Brown

The Auburn inside linebacker discusses his football team and this week's SEC showdown vs. Mississippi State.

Editor's Note: Junior inside linebacker Mark Brown discusses the upcoming Southeastern Conference game vs. Mississippi State with Inside the Auburn Tigers editor Mark Murphy.

Mark Brown vs. Ole Miss


Mark Murphy: Is Mississippi State one of your more physical games every year?

Mark Brown: "Yeah, we know they're going to be a physical team. That's one thing you can count on from Mississippi State."

Mark Murphy: From studying video of the Bulldogs, is there anything different about this year's team compared to last year's team?

Mark Brown: "Basically, I see the same team. Basically, it's the same team coming back--they have got a few different linemen, but that's about it. I don't know about the defensive side of the ball, but the offensive side of the ball is pretty similar from last year."

Mark Murphy: Is there anything you guys can work on in practice to get better as far as tackling goes?

Mark Brown: "Just work every day, and get better every day. Make it a point to tackle better in every day in every drill."

Mark Murphy: Last year's game was disappointing, wasn't it?

Mark Brown: "Yeah, it was disappointing because we came in undefeated, and I think we just got caught off-guard and we tried to play half a game instead of a whole game. We did it this year with the same results. We have got to play a whole four quarters for this game coming up."

Mark Murphy: The year before that was pretty disappointing, too, when they won at Jordan-Hare Stadium?

Mark Brown: "Yeah, I think I was more disappointing than last year because we had them beat, and they came back in the fourth quarter. And everybody noticed how bad they beat us in the last couple of seconds. So that's always worse when you get beaten at the end of the game."

Mark Murphy: "The defense came out the first six quarters and was kicking butt, but you guys have not looked the same since then. Anything you can put your finger on for the dropoff on defense?

Mark Brown: "I really don't know what it is. Hopefully, all our work will bring it to where we were at the beginning of the season. And we just have got to keep going at it every day, and try to get better, and hopefully we'll crack through it eventually."

Mark Murphy: How important of a game is this?

Mark Brown: "Oh, it's a big game because it's an SEC West game and we've got a chance to control a little bit of our destiny. If we win this game, we're the only undefeated team in the SEC West. It's a real big game because SEC games are always going to be big, but I think it's on another level this week."

Mark Murphy: "Do you get a sense that for the seniors this an important game for them with Auburn losing four straight to Mississippi State?

Mark Brown: "The reason I think it's such a big game is because from freshmen to seniors, I think everybody knows it's a big game so we're trying to get ready for it."

Mark Murphy: Mississippi State really tries to intimidate on defense. How do you think Auburn's offense will handle that, especially having a young quarterback?

Mark Brown: "I think the offense should handle them pretty good. The guys that have been here should handle them pretty good. It might shake the newer guys who haven't seen them yet, but everybody that has been in there, we know what they're going to do. They're going to try to come in and intimidate us. But that's all song and dance. You got to get between the lines and play the game."

Mark Murphy: What do you think about the Bulldog running backs, Dicenzo Miller and Dontae Walker?

Mark Brown: "They have a pretty good combination of running backs--probably two of the best in the SEC. We're just hoping to have a better tackling game than we had against Vanderbilt or we know it's going to be a long night."

Mark Murphy: It looks like the Auburn defense will be facing a very different style of offense this week than you did at Vanderbilt?

Mark Brown: "Yeah, that shotgun kind of messed you up a little bit. But this week, we're getting back more to conventional power type football with the "iso" plays, the sweeps and all that stuff so we're trying to get ready for that. I think we have a good game plan and we should execute it."


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