AU's Defense Putting Up Impressive Numbers

News and notes on the Auburn football team are featured as Auburn begins preparations for LSU.

Auburn, Ala.--Coach Tommy Tuberville says after grading the video of Auburn's 3-2 football victory over Mississippi State there were just five missed tackles by his defense.

Going into game four this week, a 6:45 p.m. home game vs. No. 6 LSU, Auburn has yet to allow a first half point.

While the defense has been impressive through three games, Auburn's offense has been inconsistent and regressed in game three vs. Mississippi State.

Tuberville says he likes Tony Franklin's offensive system, but isn't happy with the execution. "You can't beat yourself and right now that is what we are doing," he states. "You can't fumble the ball eight times in two games and expect a lot. You can't have all of the false starts," he adds. "The communication has not been as good."

Auburn's offense has been struggling to convert third downs, making just 27.9 percent this season. In contrast, AU's defense has been spectacular on third downs allowing 6.5 percent conversion rate. Auburn's defensive squad has faced 46 third downs this season and allowed a conversion just three times.

In other news and notes:

*Running back Brad Lester had an MRI on Sunday and will be evaluated by a neurosurgeon this week, but Tuberville says he is optimistic the senior will make a quick recovery from a neck sprain suffered on Saturday night. Auburn's coach says the MRI showed no problems with the neck. "We are not going to rush him," Tuberville says. "That will be his choice."

*Tuberville says that junior Tray Blackmon, Auburn's leading tackler vs. MSU, played his best collegiate game. The coach liked the front four and the linebackers as a group. "We had some good play from our front seven," he says. "That is about as good as we have played in two or three years."

*Blackmon says he thought he played well, too. "It was a lot of fun," he notes. "It was of those hard-hitting SEC games that I like."

*For this year's LSU at Auburn matchup, it will be the sixth consecutive season that both teams have been ranked in the SEC West showdown. Auburn is 9th and 10th in major polls while LSU is 6th in both. The last time the two teams met as Top team squads was in 2006 when Auburn won a 7-3 defensive battle at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

*Both Auburn and LSU feature strong defenses this year. Auburn is ranked 10th nationally in total defense allowing 213.7 yards per game. LSU is 12th allowing 219.0 yards per game.


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