Safety Enjoys Getting Physical On The Field

Auburn, Ala.--Backup safety Steve Gandy led the Auburn defense against Western Kentucky with five tackles, four solos and one assist, in the Tigers' 37-14 win.

The redshirt freshman played both free and strong safety and had a pair of jarring hits against the Hilltoppers, something that has become his specialty.

"Yeah, man, I enjoy hitting," Gandy says. "I just like to run and hit and today was a good chance. I had a chance to get a couple of nice shots and I took them. I'm all about those hits."

Gandy has become a player to watch when Auburn's second-team defense gets on the field.

The redshirt freshman from Waynesboro, Miss., also had a tackle for a seven yard loss on an option play disrupted by teammate Antarrious Williams. WKU quarterback Justin Haddix fumbled the pitch which Gandy almost recovered, but he says the lost yardage was almost as good as a turnover.

"I kind of wish I would have tried to go for the ball, scoop and score," Gandy says. "I think I did the right thing going on and tackling him and making sure he didn't get any. I think they ended up punting that drive anyway."

Although the Hilltoppers are a Division I-AA opponent and didn't match up physically, Gandy says that seeing the look of an option team should help the Auburn defense as the season continues.

"That was a good game for us to get compared," he notes. "We've got a long road ahead of us with SEC play so it was good for us young guys to know how to defend the option just incase South Carolina or any other SEC schools want to run some."

The Auburn defense had a streak of 13 quarters without allowing a touchdown heading into the fourth quarter, but was unable to continue the streak. On a third and 11 play, Haddix ran a draw 42 yards for a score on a play Gandy was unable to fight off a block.

"He did some good things and some bad things, but he's getting better each and every week," says defensive coordinator David Gibbs. "He flies around and hits people and I'm excited about Steve Gandy. He's needs to keep working and getting better. He's doing a good job."

Although the Tigers were unable to get the shutout Gandy says that it was an overall solid day for the defense.

"I don't think many people had too many MA's (missed assignments) first and second-string wise," he says. "That's good that nobody had many missed assignments and we all played hard for three quarters. The younger guys, including myself, have got to get better. Mistakes are going to happen and as long as we play hard I'm happy."

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories