Third Stringer Powers Auburn Defense

Jerraud Powers talks about his role in the Auburn vs. LSU thriller.

Auburn, Ala.--On a day where defense was dominant, a redshirt freshman backup cornerback had as big of a role in Auburn's 7-3 victory as anyone who played on Pat Dye Field on Saturday.

Facing a talented trio of receivers in Dwayne Bowe, Craig "Buster" Davis and Early Doucet, the Auburn defense took two huge blows when Patrick Lee became sick and unable to play and when Jonathan Wilhite injured his hamstring in the second quarter.

Jerraud Powers, who has been used mostly as a nickelback playing the middle of the field against slot receivers and tight ends, was thrown into the action as one of the top two corners on the outside.

"We've got David Irons on the other side and they respect them, so I expected them to come after me," he says. "They really didn't as much as I thought."

That's because Powers played excellent coverage and his guys were mostly blanketed.

"I wouldn't say I'm the MVP," Powers says. "The defense played a heck of a game. Patrick Lee and Jae (Wilhite) unfortunately went down and I had an opportunity. I took advantage of it. The defense as a whole is the MVP, not just me stepping up. That's my role to come in and step up when somebody goes down.

"Coach Muschamp always tells me that I have to earn my scholarship," he adds. "He told me I did today."

Powers and Wilhite celebrate the victory.

With Lee and Wilhite out of action, the dime package at the end of the game was Irons and Walter McFadden on the outside, Zach Gilbert and Powers on the inside and Eric Brock and Aairon Savage at the safeties.

"We can't let them get in the end zone," he recalls of the final drive that was stopped at the Auburn six-yard line. "That's the main thing. They were completing some balls on us and we had to make some adjustments on that last drive. The main thing in your head is just hold them for another minute or however many seconds left in the game. Just try to get the win."

Even though Powers stepped up to the challenge and did his part in the victory, he says the credit goes to the defensive coordinator who designed the game plan to hold the high-powered LSU offensive to just three points.

"They run great routes first of all," Powers says of the LSU receivers. "The offensive coordinator (Jimbo Fisher) has some great ways of running routes. They have a lot of tandem sets and they try to take out the safety and leave a lot of one-on-one coverages and try to get mismatches. They gave us problems the whole game but I believe we handled it well.

"Coach Muschamp is an aggressive guy and I believe had a chip on his shoulder coming from LSU," he adds. "We were aggressive the whole game on defense. His main thing was that he wanted us to play more physical than LSU. I think we did."

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