Defenders Not Defending Their Play

Auburn defenders Stanley McClover and Wayne Dickens talk about Monday's loss to Wisconsin.

Orlando, Fla.--If it was his last game it wasn't a good one for junior defensive end Stanley McClover to go out on. In a match-up billed as Auburn's defense versus Wisconsin's offense it was all Badgers as they rolled to the victory with 548 yards of total offense. McClover says that a game like Monday's just makes you sick to play in and watch.

"That's a bad feeling in your gut," McClover says. "Since I've been here we've never given up that many yards. It's a bad feeling in my stomach and I know it's a bad feeling in all of the senior's stomachs. Games like this happen for a reason. We didn't have a lot of focus in the game and that really hurt us. That's a lesson for everybody coming back and everybody who's leaving, always stay focused no matter who you're playing."

The question for McClover remains ‘is he staying'? Having already requested information from the NFL on his possible draft status next April, McClover must make his intentions known by Jan. 15. He says that all he can do now is just wait and use all the possible resources around him to make the best decision.

"I don't know right now," McClover says. "I'm going home and talk with my mom and dad about it and we'll go from there. I haven't been back to Auburn, but when I get back it (NFL evaluation) should be there.

"I have a lot of colleagues that went and came back and made a lot of money for themselves," McClover adds. "I have a lot to think about. I have to think about my situation and their situation. That's what I have to discuss with my mom and my dad."

McClover celebrates his sack and forced fumble.

If Monday was his last Auburn game McClover will go out on a uncharacteristic performance by a unit that has been consistently strong in recent years. It was the most total yards given up by the Tigers since 2001, something McClover can attribute to one thing.

"It was just a lack of focus," McClover says. "We had a big lack of focus today. We did a lot of things we don't normally do. It was just a lack of focus and by the time we started getting rolling we were down too much. We had a lot of discipline problems (during the game). We were fighting with Wisconsin, stuff Auburn doesn't do. That normally shows up as a loss."

Someone who agrees wholeheartedly with McClover is senior defensive tackle Wayne Dickens. A first-year starter that came on strong for the Tigers, Dickens says that this game falls squarely on the shoulders of the players.

"I don't think we came out ready to play," Dickens says. "I think we spent too much time vacationing down here. I don't feel like the defense really bowed its neck until the second half. Starting with myself, in the first quarter I played horribly. We just weren't ready to play. It wasn't anything that the coaches could have done. To a man, we were overconfident. When you get overconfident sometimes you get your ass kicked."


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