Defense Must Improve, Marks Says

Defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks discusses Auburn's victory over the Gamecocks.

Columbia, S.C.--Sen'Derrick Marks says although his Auburn football team is 5-0 he hopes to see the defense play better in the coming weeks.

"It was a pretty much a disappointing game for the defense," he says. "I don't think we have played like we should the past two games. We are going to have to step it up and get the ball back to the offense more."

Making that difficult against South Carolina was the play of quarterback Syvelle Newton, who proved to be an escape artist by dodging would-be Auburn tackles much of the night as the Tigers took a 24-17 victory at Williams-Brice Stadium. That would buy him extra time to find receivers or allow him to move the chains by running for first downs.

"We were going after him with three down linemen and he is a good runner," Marks says. "We had a hard time getting to him."

The redshirt freshman defensive tackle says even though the defense was on the field much of the final quarter, he didn't get tired. "No, not really," he says. "Although they were running a hurry-up offense, we had a pretty good bit of time between plays so it wasn't bad.

Marks made several nice plays against the Gamecocks.

"On that last drive we knew we had to make a big play to win the game. They converted a couple of big plays on third and fourth down, but we made the stop when we had to have it to win the game. We came through."

Marks has praise for the Gamecocks, who dropped to 3-2 with the loss. "This was a hard place to play," he says. "They played hard and their fans were really into the game."

Auburn was a heavy favorite to win, which it did, but the Tigers didn't come close to last year's dominating performance vs. the Gamecocks. Is Marks concerned that will hurt the Tigers in the poll? "I don't really know about that. I don't even pay much attention to that. I think we are ranked number two. It is something for the fans to worry about. I worry about going out there and playing football."

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