Williams And Defense Looking For Answers

Linebacker Travis Williams talks about Saturday night's defensive performance.

Auburn, Ala.-–This wasn't the way his senior season was supposed to begin. Not for Travis Williams and a veteran front seven for the Tigers.

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets used a balanced offensive gameplan and solid play from quarterback Reggie Ball to keep the Auburn defense guessing all night as the visitors came away with a hard-fought win. Georgia Tech even ran for 139 yards, 111 coming from bruising back P. J. Daniels. Williams said the game is a tough one to swallow because the defense didn't play up to their own expectations.

"Anytime you lose it is always tough, but me as a leader I have got to keep pushing, keep telling the team we have got the Bulldogs next," Williams said. "We've got the SEC (coming up), we are not in the ACC. They came out and they won the game. The better team won, I guess, since they won. We have got to just bounce back."

Travis Williams wraps up Reggie Ball near the Auburn goal line.

A defense that prides itself on keeping opponents from wracking up yards on the ground, Auburn was gashed by run after run from the legs of Daniels. Much of the damage was done on cutback runs that used Auburn's speed to run players out of plays. Williams said that's one of the man things he learned about his defense Saturday night in the loss.

"That we are fast, and fast isn't always good," Williams said. "We have got to get off the field. On third down we have got to get off the field, and we have got to just pay attention to details. There wasn't a call out there that we couldn't execute. Coach (David) Gibbs calls the calls and we have just got execute the plays, but we can't wait until the second half to get started. Putting the offense behind 10 points, that is just tough so as a defense we have just got to get better."

Georgia Tech didn't run early though as Ball and company came out firing from the opening play. Of Tech's 174 passing yards 111 came in the first quarter as Ball hit Calvin Johnson for an early 35-yard touchdown to put Tech in the lead. Williams said the defense was surprised to see Tech throw the ball so much early.

"I was expecting the run and then once they got up we knew they were going to run the ball more," Williams said. "They were doing, just, little rinky dink things, but it was a pretty good game plan."

Last season the defense talked of being all on the same page. Saturday night that wasn't the case as the Tigers missed an assignment here or there that cost them big yardage in key situations. Williams said that the defense must do everything right if they hope to improve as the Tigers head into SEC play next weekend against Mississippi State.

"We gave great effort and we ran to the ball and we played tough, but we have got to put all that together and do the little things," Williams said. "Sometimes playing tough and giving great effort is not enough, but we have got to put everything together and we have got to get better at the little things."


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