Auburn, Ala.--While Auburn's offense had a very good day without many regulars, the same can't be said for the Tiger defense facing a Tulane offense that had put up good numbers coming into Saturday's game. Averaging 369 yards of total offense per game, the Green Wave got 20 more than that against Auburn Saturday and linebacker Karibi Dede says that his grade for the game wouldn't be very favorable.
"It's hard to say without looking at the film but I think a C or less by our standards," Dede says. "We gave up too many big plays and first downs and didn't get off the field on third downs. We also have to force at least one more turnover. We always shoot for three or four turnovers. I don't think we got a good enough pass rush today.
"That's not just the d-line, backers were blitzing and we didn't get there. I told Jonathan Wilhite after that first play that anytime we bring pressure we've got to get there because we're putting you out there on an island. If he has a chance to sit there and pat the ball the quarterback is good enough to make the throw."
Dede celebrates his fumble recovery in the win.
Even though Tulane accumulated 18 first downs and 106 yards rushing with Matt Forte totaling 117, Dede says that in the end the defense stood tall by allowing just one touchdown in the game. He says that's rule number one but it doesn't make him any happier about the performance.
"One of our main goals is that if they do get down in the red zone we've got to hold them to three or no points," Dede says. "People are going to make plays and get down to the red zone but I think overall we've just got to see what was causing the big plays to happen."
Much to the dismay of coordinator Will Muschamp the big plays continue to come out of two areas against Auburn's defense. Slot receivers have killed the Tigers all season and once again that was the case on Saturday against Tulane. Also spread teams have been successful running the ball out of the shotgun formation against Auburn's defense. Dede says those are things the team will work to correct because he knows they'll see it again.
"We'll just have to go back and look at the things that have hurt us over the course of the season in the run game," Dede says. "That's what a lot of teams do. They'll go back and look and see what plays hurt you in the run game. We have to make sure we're sound on those.
"It's disappointing in a sense that we shoot so high," Dede adds on the total effort of the defense. "We set our goals and our standards really high. Sometimes it's hard on the coordinator to make calls when the other team is throwing the ball so much and at the same time still willing to run it. As players it's hard to get a great run-pass read when they're in the shotgun so much. Sometimes they would run the zone (running play) and then they would play-action and dump it right behind your head. They kept us off balance a little bit but we'll come up with something to stop that."