Auburn's End Results

An Auburn football report takes a look at Coach Terry Price's defensive ends group.

Auburn, Ala.--One of the bright spots early in the 2007 football season for the Auburn defense has been the play of the ends.

Position coach Terry Price is getting solid play from starters Quentin Groves and SenDerrick Marks along with backups Antonio Coleman, Michael Goggans and from surprising freshman Antoine Carter.

Carter, an undersized but very quick player from Dillard High in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., got his first collegiate sack last Saturday vs. South Florida. Considering how he has played in the first two games, Carter is in line to see increased playing time.

"Antoine Carter is coming along," Price tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "He is playing more and more each week and learning more every week. He is trying to improve every day in practice."

The six-foot-four, 226-pounder doesn't have the strength yet to overpower college offensive tackles, but his quickness can give them problems.

Price and the rest of the Auburn coaching staff got a scare last Saturday when their two top pass rushers tried to make a sandwich out of South Florida quarterback Matt Grothe, who ducked and got away from the main brunt of the blows. However, Groves and Coleman smashed into each other and both went down.

"It's a contact sport and sometimes things like that can happen, but the great thing is both bounced back up and came back in the game and kept going after it," Price points out.

Coach Terry Price

Groves, who had his career high of nine tackles in the USF game, is one sack away from matching the school record of 26 held by Gerald Robinson. Price says he likes what he is seeing from the senior.

"Quentin is playing hard," the coach notes. "He really is. One thing we asked of him is to play hard every single play. I think consistency is his key. If he can play hard at a consistent pace throughout the game he can improve himself as a football player."

A new face at the position is sophomore Marks, who started at tackle last season. Now a starter at end, Marks still lines up at tackle in certain defensive alignments.

"Sen'Derrick does a little of both every week," Price says. "He plays outside and inside, wherever we need him. He is smart enough to handle all of those positions and he is doing well."

Auburn's defensive ends and their teammates will return to action for a third straight home game on Saturday. Kickoff is set for shortly after 11:30 a.m. CDT as the Mississippi State Bulldogs travel to Jordan-Hare Stadium.

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