Auburn, Ala.--For a defense that prides itself on stopping the run, Saturday's loss to Arkansas was one that was a bitter pill to swallow for the Auburn Tigers. Coming into the game allowing just a total of 414 rushing yards this season, Auburn gave up 279 alone to the Razorbacks. That doesn't make for a happy locker room after a loss says Josh Thompson.
"It was real disappointing," Thompson says. "We've got to do a little bit of soul searching to see what's going on. We've got to correct things and come back strong. The season is far, far from over. We've just got to come back next and see what we can do.
"They were good and doubling all day," he adds. "They came out and hit us in the mouth early and we didn't respond real good. We've just got to correct things."
It started early as Auburn came out using more of the 3-4 look that they've shown the last three weeks. Despite struggles against both Buffalo and South Carolina showing that alignment Coach Will Muschamp went with it even more against Arkansas and it turned out to be a wrong move. Thompson says that although they did some different things this game was all about the players not making plays, nothing more.
"At the beginning of the game we maybe ran a little bit too much slanting-wise but we practiced it all week and it's our fault," Thompson says. "As a defense, the defensive line and linebackers, we should have been more prepared. We should have been ready to go and executed. You can't blame anybody but the players starting with myself. I'll take the blame. We've just got to come back and get better."
Josh Thompson brings down Felix Jones during the 27-10 Auburn loss.
It wasn't just the running game that had success against Auburn on Saturday though as true freshman Mitch Mustain completed seven of 10 passes for 87 yards and one big touchdown to Marcus Monk when he threw the ball up for grabs in the face of pressure from the Tigers. Thompson says that despite a lost look at times from the defense it was more about executing than simply not knowing what was coming next.
"They didn't really do anything to confuse us," Thompson says. "They had great blocking schemes and the running backs were awesome. They just found the hole and were cutting it. There wasn't really anything that hard about them, they just found the hole and cut it up."
Auburn will now have to regroup in a hurry to get ready for a Florida team that comes into Jordan-Hare Stadium next week looking to further rekindle its name in the national football scene. Bringing a very different type of offense, the Gators will be a tough test for the Tigers on a good day. Coming off a loss like the one they suffered Saturday Thompson says it's up to the team to get things going again because the road doesn't get any easier.
"We're down," Thompson says. "We're more mad because we let the seniors down. That's the last time they're going to play Arkansas. We're just down about it but on the other hand we've got a long season. We'll be coming back strong. We'll dwell on this one for a couple of days and then forget about it and focus on Florida."