Defense Holds Upper Hand At Scrimmage Two

Comments from defensive coordinator and statistics are featured following Auburn's second major scrimmage of spring training.

Auburn, Ala.--Even missing three starters, the first team defense was too strong for the first team offense to handle on Saturday.

That was also the case for the second team defense, which outperformed the second offense in Auburn's second major scrimmage of the spring on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Except for a possession in which the first offense got the ball only 20 yards away from the goal line, the first defense didn't allow a touchdown. The group managed to do it without injured starters Sen'Derrick Marks (high ankle sprain), Jonathan Wilhite (shoulder bruise) and Merrill Johnson (calf muscle pull).

"For the most part I thought we did some good things," says defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. "I thought we got a little tired as the scrimmage went along. That was a little disappointing.

"We got hit on a couple of runs with the running game, which has been a point of emphasis," Muschamp adds. "Of course, we had some guys out today. We are going to watch the film, find the playmakers and continue to coach the guys who are being productive for us. That is what we have done so far."

Safety Aairon Savage was busy in the scrimmage. He was in on 10 tackles.

The leading tackler was the same guy who was number one in the first scrimmage, linebacker Chris Evans. However, he didn't a dominating a day like he did a week ago. He was in on 11 tackles with two solo stops.

"We didn't get as much production out of our linebackers as we would like today," Muschamp says. "From just a play-making standpoint, I felt like we could have fit the gaps a little better on the run.

"Sen'Derrick and a couple of those guys being out made a difference," Muschamp adds. "Merrill and a bunch of guys were out." Marks, a tackle, is out for the rest of the spring, but linebacker Johnson and cornerback could return to workouts next week.

When Muschamp studies the video of the action he will probably like much of what he sees from the first and second defensive units because much of the offensive production came late in the scrimmage when third stringers and others were on the field for some scrimmage time.

Tacklers (solos/assists): Chris Evans 2-9; Aairon Savage 5-5; Craig Stevens 4-6; Zaccheus Etheridge 1-7; Octavius Balkcom 2-6; Mike Blanc 4-3; Josh Thomspon 1-6; Courtney Harden 1-5; Jacob Shirey 0-6; Pat Sims 0-5; Walter McFadden 3-2; Steve Gandy, Antonio Coleman, Quentin Groves and Jonathan Vickers 1-4; Patrick Trahan and Eric Brock 1-3; Michael Goggans, Josh Hebert and Tez Doolittle 2-2; Austin Hoyt 2-1; Darrell Roseman 0-3; Brian Anyadike 1-1; Brandon Haley 0-2; Greg Smith and Rick Chapman 0-1.

Sacks: Josh Thompson 1-7; Mike Blanc 1-9; Patrick Trahan 1-8; Michael Goggans 1-2; Tez Doolittle 1-3; Octavius Balcom 1-5.


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