Tiger Defense Looking to Bounce Back

A report on the Auburn defense is featured as the Tigers head to Tuscaloosa to play Alabama.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp says the Tigers aren't making a lot of changes in what they will try to do this week, but says they do need to make major improvements in how they do it.

The Tigers and Alabama will wrap up their football regular seasons at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The 9-2 Tigers are going for their fifth straight victory over Alabama.

The Tide is trying to bounce back from back-to-back losses to Mississippi State and LSU. Auburn is coming off a loss to Georgia.

Muschamp says, "There have not been a lot of wholesale changes other than (emphasizing) not getting behind early in the game, not getting beat over the top early on two big plays that accounted for 14 points and responding to sudden changes, which had to happen in the Georgia game and it didn't. Regardless of the situation, our job is to go in there and put the fire out and we didn't do it Saturday."

The Tigers wrapped up their on the field workouts on Thursday for Saturday's game that will be televised by CBS.

"We had a good week of preparation," Muschamp says. "We cut back a little bit. It has been a long season. We are getting the legs back under the kids and getting ready for the Iron Bowl."

Commenting on how the Tigers have handled trying to come back from a poor performance against Georgia, Muschamp says, "The kids are pretty resilient. They get over things quicker than we do. They understand the importance of this ball game, the importance of this game to the Auburn people and we need to go play well. I think we will."

Muschamp, who also coaches the secondary, says that starting safety Eric Brock, who missed the Georgia game with an ankle sprain, will try to play Saturday.

"He is still hobbled," the coach notes. "It will be a game-time decision, but right now I don't know. We have got a lot of time, we have got some time. Right now I would say say doubtful, but again we will warm him up and see how he does.

"Tristan (sophomore Tristan Davis) will play definitely," Muschamp adds. "Jerraud Powers can play. Lorenzo (sophomore Lorenzo Ferguson) can play. We will rotate and see who is playing well and get them in there and let them do it. Those kids have responded this week and had a good week of preparation. We are pleased with that and we will go from there. Tristan right now will be starting."

Patrick Lee could see extensive playing time vs. the Tide.

At cornerback Jonathan Wilhite is expected to get the start despite being pulled in the Georgia game in favor of Patrick Lee.

"I know everybody wants to make it look like a demotion," Muschamp says of Lee taking over for Wilhite. "Patrick Lee deserves to start, too. He has played well when he has been in there and has played well in our sub packages. Both of those guys will play in the game. John right now will be the starter and Patrick is going to play."


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