Muschamp Looking for Emotion

Auburn defense talks about what he expects from his players this week against the Tulane Green Wave.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp teaches, preaches and coaches with emotion. Following a 27-17 win over Florida in a high-energy atmosphere at Jordan-Hare Stadium against Florida, Muschamp doesn't want a let down of emotion from his players this week against Tulane.

"I always tell the players don't let anything without a heart affect you," he says. "Weather doesn't have a heart. Another man can whip you. The atmosphere of a game shouldn't make you play better or make you play harder. If you're a competitor and you're a good football player you play hard all of the time."

Auburn has played great at times and bad at times defensively this year. After holding Washington State, Mississippi State and Louisiana State to 17 points in the first three games of the year, it followed with sloppy performances against Buffalo, South Carolina and Arkansas as well as the first half against Florida.

However, the defense came out with a different mentality in the second half against the Gators and Muschamp hopes to keep that edge against the Green Wave.

"We've preached it since spring--consistency and performance--at all positions at offense, defense and special teams," Muschamp notes. "Consistency and performance. That's the most important thing in my opinion of being a good player, is performing at a high level all of the time. A lot of that goes with age. We're not a very old team."


Starting safety Aairon Savage is "questionable" according to Muschamp because of a stinger. Tristan Davis or Lorenzo Ferguson would fill in if Savage is unavailable.

Ranked No. 4 in the Bowl Championship Series standings that were released on Sunday, Auburn has looked like a championship team in wins over LSU and Florida, but it has also looked average at times. If the Tigers hope to put together a run at any kind of title they must get rid of the average moments. That starts with this week's game against 2-4 Tulane.

"I think the biggest thing is going out and playing fast and physical," Muschamp says. "I hate to be clichéish, but that's what we're looking for--consistent performers that they're going to do it all the time week in and week out. We've got a lot of ball to play and we've got a lot of tough games starting with Tulane. With our football team, that's something we haven't been able to do is consistently go out and perform at a high level."

The Tigers' had their backs to the walls against South Carolina three games ago and struggled to slow down the Gamecocks offense. Muschamp's unit will have a chance to fix the mistakes made in that game against Tulane this Saturday at 1:30 p.m. against a similar style offense.

"Tulane has used a no-huddle offense at times through the year, which South Carolina did to us," he notes. "I think Tulane's a little further advanced in the running game with what they're trying to do with Matt Forte', who is a good player. I recruited him out of high school. It's very similar out of what they're trying to do. Lester (Ricard) is a kid with tremendous arm talent. He can make all of the throws. He's probably not the scrambler that (Syvelle) Newton was in the open field. He can certainly get hot on you and make all of the throws.

"They're pretty multiple in their sets and they have a lot of very capable with good speed that run good routes," Muschamp adds. "The thing I see is that they really understand what they're trying to do. They're not a hodge-podge of different things. They do what they do, they coach it well and they play well."


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