Sophomore Corner Powers AU Defense

Jerraud Powers talks to Inside the Auburn Tigers about Auburn's 9-7 victory over Arkansas.

Fayetteville, Ark.--It's hard to make an argument that Darren McFadden and Felix Jones aren't the best running back duo in the country, but on Saturday night against Auburn the #5 and #25 were shut down by the Auburn defense.

McFadden carried 17 times for 43 yards. Jones carried just six times for 42 in the Razorbacks' 9-7 home loss to the Tigers.

"It was fun," Auburn cornerback Jerraud Powers said. "We had a great game plan and we knew if we played our assignment, we played fundamental football, watched what we needed to watch and tackled in the then open field that it would be a game like this. That (Arkansas) defense played a great game, too. It was a hard fought defensive battle and it just came down to who was going to make the plays at the end of the game. I know we've been giving the fans heart attacks lately, but it's just fun to be out there playing it.

"We had a great week of preparation," Powers added. "The scout team, they couldn't match McFadden and Felix, but they did the best they could and we had a great week of preparation. Coach (Will) Muschamp made things simple for us, so things weren't that confusing out there. Whenever they lined up, we knew what we had to do."

The win improved Auburn to 5-2 overall and into a tie with LSU and Alabama for first place in the West at 3-1.

"When I played basketball at Decatur we were awful my first few years on varsity," Powers said. "Then my senior year we ended up being the No. 1 team in the state. That was one of the biggest turn-arounds I've ever experienced on a team, but for us to lose two home games that we felt like we should have won and then come on the road and be the underdog and come out with a victory, it just shows the maturity, the character and the growth that's starting to happen on this team. It's just exciting to be on now.

"It's real exciting," he continued. "The SEC is crazy right now. Nobody is undefeated and you're getting upsets every weekend. It's unpredictable how it's going to play out, but it's going to be fun to see how it ends up."

The defense played well even in the early-season losses, but the offense has come up with the clutch points in recent road games at Florida and Arkansas. And as the Tigers get into the thick of the schedule and the race for the West, the defense has continued to get better. Auburn has allowed 31 points in the last 14 quarters.

"On Saturday you've got to worry about yourself and make sure you do your assignment right," Powers explained of the progress. "Don't try to do everybody else's. I think that's what we did today. To get a win like this it just shows the maturity and the character that we're starting to feel on this football team.

"Just everybody staying focused, everybody knowing the task at hand, everybody trying to stay fundamentally sound and just getting better each week. Coach (Will) Muschamp preaches that. We preach consistency and we're a family. There are no individuals on this team. Everybody hangs out with everybody. Everybody is good friends. It's just a family atmosphere. We all count on each other."

Fittingly for Powers, who has been one of the MVP's of the defense through the first half of the season, he came up with his first career pick to seal the victory against Arkansas.

"I was so excited!" Powers said with a huge smile. "Everybody picks on me because I'm the guy in practice getting picks every day and making plays every day. In the game it just seems like I can't get one. As soon as I saw the tipped ball I thought God was blessing me or something. I took advantage of it and fell on the ground. I jumped up and carried the ball. I'm finally in the stat book with my first pick."

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