Defensive Game Plan A Gem

Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp talks to Inside the Auburn Tigers about the 20-17 victory at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Gainesville, Fla.--Will Muschamp had a tough challenge ahead of him as the Tigers were set to face one of the most explosive offenses in the country. His game plan was to take away the run and the big play, and force Tim Tebow to win the game with his arm.

After allowing just 17 points, which is 32 less than the Gators' average coming into the game, it's safe to say that the game plan worked.

"The plan was to come in, be patient and make them drive the ball," the defensive coordinator explains. "They're a big-play, big-strike offense. When they don't have those big plays, they struggle. We wanted to take the run away and make him beat us throwing it. We didn't think he could do it and he didn't do it.

"You're always apprehensive," he adds of the game plan. "As a coach you realize the things that can go wrong. Obviously it worked. We're good coaches this week."

Tebow was able to hook up with Percy Harvin on pass plays of 52 yards and 32 yards, which eventually led to 10 Gator points. Other than that, the sophomore QB had a difficult time sustaining drives against the Auburn defense.

"It was all the kids," Muschamp says. "They played hard, they played with great effort, enthusiasm and emotion. We maintained the ball on offense and didn't turn it over as much. We tackled well in the open field. We gave up two big plays and that was my fault, playing in man coverage.

"(Harvin) is a great player and he's going to make big plays. We told our kids to keep swinging for 60 minutes and play Auburn football, and that's what we did."

The Auburn defense flew to the football and held Tebow to 276 yards total offense on 46 plays.

Florida didn't score in the second half of Auburn's 27-17 victory at Jordan-Hare Stadium last season, and it took the Gators until the third quarter to get three points on the board in their loss at The Swamp.

Florida fought back from 14 points down at intermission to eventually tie the score at 17-17 in the fourth quarter. It had consecutive touchdowns drives and got the ball back at its own 42-yard line with 4:49 to play. However, the Auburn defense stepped up to the challenge, forced a three-and-out and gave the ball back to the offense for it to break the tie at the buzzer.

"This is the kids' victory," he says. "They had great effort and great enthusiasm and they won the game tonight.

"Anytime you beat the Gators it's great," Muschamp continues. "I played at Georgia, I coach at Auburn, coached at LSU and anytime you beat the Gators it's good. There is nothing like being an Auburn Tiger, I can tell you that."

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