"Deceptive" Jones A Key For Tiger Defense

Auburn defensive coordinator Gene Chizik talks about Tuesday's practice and trying to contain Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones.

Auburn, Ala.–-Auburn gets back into SEC play this weekend with an important Western Division showdown with the Arkansas Razorbacks and stellar quarterback Matt Jones. Defensive coordinator Gene Chizik said that the Tigers' first job this Saturday is to slow down the athletic Jones and force someone else to make plays.

"We worked a lot today on the "Matt Jones Show"," Chizik said. "We just have to be solid and have a good base plan for him. That's what we worked on today. We have to find a way to stop the option and find a way to stop the play-action and the deep balls. Their running game is really good too, so we've got our work cut out for us for sure."

Matt Jones runs for yardage against Alabama.

Despite trying to remain focused on the Arkansas team, there is little doubt that Jones has much of the attention of the Auburn defense and for good reason. The team's leading rusher and passer, Jones is just 54 yards away from becoming the SEC's all-time leading rusher for a quarterback. Chizik said his unique skills make him very tough to defend.

"Today I watched a play where I thought he gained two yards and he gained nine," Chizik said. "He's just so deceptive. He's got so much speed that you just can't see. No one can tackle the guy one-on-one, no one has been able to do that. All you have to do is be out of position by six inches at this point and he's going to run right by you. They do a good job of focusing everything around him and rightly so. He's a special player."

In full pads, the Tigers practiced for just over two hours working on all phases of the game in preparation for Saturday's contest against Arkansas. One of the top offensive teams in the country, the Hogs can score from anywhere on the field and depend on Jones to make plays. Chizik said because of that Tuesday the defense spent a lot of time working on tackling drills, something they'll do all week.

"That's the first thing we did today," Chizik said. "We did live tackling today as a secondary because typically the guys that are going to be getting their hands on him right now are secondary and linebacker guys. We have to be a phenomenal tackling team Saturday to stop them."

The injury situation is getting better by the day for the Tigers as both Junior Rosegreen and Kevin Sears returned to the practice field on Tuesday. Both players ran well and looked to be good to go for Saturday's game. Running back Tre Smith again missed practice with a sore shoulder and is doubtful for the game.

Running backs Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown continued a Tuesday tradition of swapping numbers before the workout. Normally the two will wear each other's number, but this week Williams was wearing the number five jersey of Sam Rives while Brown was wearing Phillip Yost's number 18.

Auburn will practice Wednesday and Thursday on campus and have a short walk-through on Friday in preparation for the Razorbacks. Kickoff for Saturday's game is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. and can be seen nationally on CBS Television.


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