Tiger Defender Has Respect for WVU Playmakers

Auburn defensive back Walter McFadden discusses his team and Thursday's road trip to West Virginia.

Auburn, Ala.--Walter McFadden is having a solid season at cornerback, especially for a first-year starter, but the Auburn junior says he has plenty of work to do.

"I am getting more confident, but I still have a lot more to learn," he tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I missed a couple of tackles in a couple games and that is what I am working on. I have to bring my hips through when I am making the tackle to become a better player."

McFadden makes a tackle vs. Tennessee.

McFadden says good tackling form will be essential when his Tigers take on West Virginia and their star offensive players, senior quarterback Pat White and sophomore tailback Noel Devine.

"They are a great offense even though they have had a couple of games when a lot of things went wrong," he says.

"There is a lot of pressure on a defense with a quarterback like Pat White, who can move around in the pocket and can throw on the run," says McFadden, who has 13 solo tackles and five assists this season. "We have to be sure to stay with our man. That is a big thing this week."

McFadden points out he knew about White long before watching video of him the past week. "West Virginia plays a lot of Thursday night games and from watching him on TV he is a very exciting player. Getting to play against him will be a big challenge."

Pat White has a chance to finish his career as the leading rusher in NCAA Division I history at the quarterback position.

The Auburn junior says that White's combination of running and passing skills bring to mind a quarterback he used to face in high school who played against the Tigers as a collegian. "He reminds me of Brent Schaeffer, the quarterback who played at Tennessee and Ole Miss," the defensive back says.

Auburn and West Virginia will kick off at approximately 6:45 p.m. CDT from Morgantown in a game that will be televised by ESPN. McFadden notes that having time off last weekend with no game was good for him personally and for the entire team, too. "We have a lot of enthusiasm out there and we are looking forward to playing," he says.

Thursday's football game will be the first ever matching the Tigers and Mountaineers, but McFadden's position coach, defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads, is familiar with WVU coaching against them annually in a rivalry game when he was at Pitt.

Commenting on his coach, McFadden says, "He is the same every week. I don't see any difference in how he is coaching this week as compared to any week. He always brings intensity to practice every week."

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