Chizik Finds A Lot To Like In Defensive Peformance

Defensive coordinator Gene Chizik discusses Auburn's 52-7 victory.

Auburn, Ala.--Although he didn't call the defensive performance a masterpiece, Gene Chizik notes that his Tigers came through in two areas the coordinator has been wanting to see improvement. Because of that the always difficult to please defensive coordinator saw a lot of good things in Auburn's 52-7 victory over Louisiana Tech.

Christopher Browder sacks the quarterback during Saturday's win.

It's hard not to like nine quarterback sacks if you are a defensive coordinator, particularly with that being a point of emphasis in practice all week. That is what the Tigers did on Homecoming and in addition to the sacks, they had good pressure at other times.

"That is really an encouraging deal," Chizik said. "We had talked about not getting to the quarterback enough. Today they came up big when it counted."

Chizik has also been preaching the importance of coming up with turnovers, something that was a problem for his defenders all last season. While they couldn't match last week's six-turnover performance vs. Tennessee, the Tigers did set up come away with three and actually turned one into instant points when Carlos Rogers ran back an interception 53 yards for a touchdown.

"That was good to see Carlos pick that ball and take it in for a touchdown," Chizik said. "We keep trying to harp on that. I thought we had another pick (by cornerback Zac Gilbert). I don't know about that call on interference. That is an enigma to me. I still don't understand that. It was good to see some of those young guys step up."

Chizik said he was also pleased that the defense accomplished the prime directive by stopping the run early in the game. The Bulldogs ran the ball 34 times for 37 net yards.

Tech's cause suffered a major blow when its star tailback, Ryan Moats, left the game with an injury when the Bulldogs were down 7-0 in the first quarter. He is not believed to be seriously hurt, but did not return. He didn't gain a yard in four carries.

"We thought once they lost him they would go to the throwing attack," Chizik said. "With the exception of the one big play, we did good. They had 185 yards passing, and 80 (actually 78) came on one play. We did what we had to do to get out of the game, but we have to do much better."

On the down side, Chizik said an alignment error led to a long touchdown pass for visitors when Johnat Holland ran past Will Herring for the only Louisiana Tech touchdown.

Chizik said he saw some other poor plays at times, too, with players out of position. "We played good most of the time, but we were sloppy some of the time and it cost us. That is why we have to go back to the drawing board and shore up some of those things that we weren't very good at today."


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