Dunn Says Stopping the Run Key to AU Success

Defensive line coach Don Dunn discusses Auburn's shutout victory over Mississippi State.

Auburn, Ala.--Defensive line coach Don Dunn said he needed several younger players to step up. Sophomore Tez Doolittle and true freshman Sen'Derrick Marks got the call and contributed to Auburn's 28-0 victory over Mississippi State on Saturday.

"Sen'Derrick and Tez played quite a bit," said Dunn, who used Doolittle at noseguard behind starter Tommy Jackson and Marks at tackle behind starter Wayne Dickens. "Last week I wasn't able to play them.

Dunn noted that an ankle sprain to Josh Thompson, who can play both noseguard and defensive tackle, prompted him to limit the sophomore's time on the field. That opened playing time for the younger linemen as did a neck injury to sophomore Neil Brown, who was unable to play as the backup at tackle.

"Josh played a little bit, but I didn't want to take a chance with him," Dunn said. "Without looking at the film, it looked like they played with a lot of emotion, played hard and had some fun."

Sen'Derrick Marks got to play in game two after watching game one from the sidelines.

Prior to the game, head coach Tommy Tuberville indicated that redshirt freshman Pat Sims might see playing time, but that didn't happen.

"He wasn't quite ready," Dunn said of Sims. "He has been working hard, too, and doing a good job. Hopefully, we can get him in the game real soon."

Commenting on Brown, Dunn said, "I would have loved to had him today to get him some playing time."

Starters Dickens and Jackson kept the pressure on the Bulldogs, who were limited to just 207 yards of total offense. Unlike last week, the AU defense line took the fight to the opponent for four quarters.

"Our goal going into this game was to stop the run and to stop Norwood (tailback Jerious Norwood)," said Dunn, whose linemen helped hold Mississippi State to 81 net yards on 38 runs. "Norwood had 123 or something yards last week and I think we held him to 30 or 40 this week (39 yards on 10 carries). That was a big concern going into the game."


Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories