Junior Lineman Making Strides for the Tigers

A report on offensive lineman King Dunlap is featured.

Auburn, Ala.--First-year starter King Dunlap has steadily improved this season. If he keeps performing like he did last week in game eight, he will be a key performer for the Auburn football team during its stretch run.

Dunlap was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week after grading 99 percent for his performance in Auburn's 38-13 homecoming victory vs. Tulane.

"I just go out there and try to play hard on every play and every game," Dunlap tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I just happened to go out there and knock a few people around and got recognized by the coaches and I guess everybody in the SEC."

Offensive line coach Hugh Nall has challenged Dunlap to be more aggressive and the lesson produced results last week. "It is the highest I have ever graded," Dunlap says. "It was probably the best all-around game I have played in my career.

"Coach Nall told me I did a good job playing and I need to keeping get better and take it to another level every week."

Dunlap notes that Nall specifically told the six-foot-nine junior if he wanted to be more effective he would have to get meaner on the football. Dunlap says that advice from Nall prior to Auburn's victory has helped the big guy become a more effective blocker.

One of the areas of improvement for the offensive line as a group was not allowing a sack of Brandon Cox vs. the Green Wave. "It meant a lot to us and we are proud of that," the junior says. "In the other games we have usually given up a few sacks. For him to not get touched that is our job and what we try to do every week."

King Dunlap is shown on a earlier road trip to the state of Mississippi prior to Auburn's victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

This week's assignment for Dunlap and the Tigers is a road game at Ole Miss. Kickoff time is shortly after 11:30 a.m. and the game will be televised regionally on LFS. Auburn is 7-1 overall.

"They have got good linebackers--Patrick Willis and No. 48 (Rory Johnson), a juco transfer," Dunlap says. "They are just as good as the guys from Florida so we know we have to block them. They have a really good front four. Like any other SEC game, we have to come in to it ready to play."

Johnson, a 6-1, 235 junior, made 11 tackles in his last game and has 53 for the season. Willis, a 6-2, 240 senior, has an SEC-leading 86 tackles this year after making 128 in 2005.

The Tigers are 4-1 in the SEC while Ole Miss is 1-4 in the league. Auburn won last year's game 27-3 and has won 11 of the last 13 encounters with the Rebels.

A performance like the one Dunlap had in his last outing has him eager to take the field again. "I am ready to get cranked up and get back to SEC ball and get back to whuppin' on people," he says.

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