Tigers Tweak Defense For Positive Results

Comments from Auburn defensive line coach Don Dunn are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--Some minor tweaking on the Auburn defensive front helped produce major results as the Tigers whipped archrival Alabama 28-18 on Saturday.

Junior defensive end Marquis Gunn lined up at the three technique, defensive tackle, in likely passing situations. That gave Auburn one more speed rusher to attack Tide quarterback Brodie Croyle.

The Tigers finished the game with 11 quarterback sacks and Gunn had a strong performance with three quarterback pressures plus a sack.

Line coach Don Dunn said that defensive coordinator David Gibbs made the decision to use Gunn inside at the three technique, the spot where senior Wayne Dickens starts.

"We moved Marquis Gunn into the three technique when we went to the nickel (five defensive backs) and dime (six defensive back) packages and he is tough to block and they hadn't seen that all year," Dunn said.

"He is one of our tougher kids," Dunn noted. "He doesn't weigh as much as we would like to play him inside, but when we felt like they are going to throw, go to the shotgun or be in a passing situation, we moved Marquis to the three technique and took Wayne out. Wayne played some nose, too. It was a good scheme that Coach Gibbs came up with."

Dunn said he really liked the effort of his team, which he said played with "great emotion." Dunn added, "This is a game of emotion. I couldn't be prouder of them."

Gunn said he enjoyed the action in the middle. "We had a lot of fun out there," he noted "This game meant a lot to us and lot to me, being that I am from Alex City. Our defensive line really got after them, which was something we had talked about doing before the game."

Wayne Dickens and Travis Williams tackle Tide runner Kenneth Darby, who rushed for 89 yards to lead the Bama offense. Dunn said he was thrilled that his senior starters, Dickens and noseguard Tommy Jackson, went out in style with strong performances in their final home games. "The two seniors, Wayne and Tommy, they just led us all year," the coach said.

Dunn added that the seniors did a good job of recognizing their keys on how to defend the Tide offense and then executing when it was time to make plays. "They did a great job of getting themselves prepared," he said.

Dunn noted that Jackson was almost too excited to play the game and go for the four-year sweep vs. the Tide. "Sometimes I had to calm him down," Dunn said. "Tommy is such an emotional guy. I couldn't hold him back. He didn't want to come out."

Jackson finished the game with two sacks and Dickens got the sack parade started with one on the game's opening series.


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