Healthier Carter Ready To Go

Auburn sophomore Antoine Carter talks about his health and the play of the defense.

Auburn, Ala.--Much like the entire Auburn season, sophomore Antoine Carter's year can be defined as disappointing. After a breakout season last year as a true freshman, big things were expected from and by the talented defensive end.

Instead he has battled through injuries and getting situated in Paul Rhoads' defensive scheme. Those things have added up to just 10 tackles, two and a half tackles for losses and one and a half sacks this season for Carter.

Back on the field and close to full speed for the first time since early in the season, Carter was back on the prowl at Ole Miss. Showing his speed off the edge, he had one sack despite limited playing time behind Antonio Coleman. He notes that it was nice just to get back on the field and try to play a part in getting a win.

"It was good," Carter says. "I have been in treatment every day. I got to treatment two or three times a day just to get better and help my team out. It felt good. I really didn't have any problems with it. I'm not 100 percent yet but I'm pushing and working through it."

Carter sacks Ole Miss QB Jevan Snead.

Missing both the Arkansas and West Virginia games, Carter used the time to try to get well after suffering a severe ankle sprain that required him to wear a boot. Now back on the mend, Carter adds that he's feeling much better and looking forward to finishing the year on a high note.

"I had a little break," Carter says. "I was out for two or three weeks. That gave me time to get my legs back. My ankle has gotten a lot better. I'm pushing through it. I'm not letting it stop me."

Sunday Carter was one of the healthiest defensive linemen on the practice field for the Tigers as Coleman (ankle), Sen'Derrick Marks (ankle), Michael Goggans (ankle) and Tez Doolittle (groin) are all battling injuries at the moment. He says there was some good news though as Mike Blanc practiced after getting word his hand wasn't broken.

While the injuries have mounted for the Tigers, particularly on defense, it's something that Carter refuses to use as an excuse. He notes that they've got enough talented guys to get the job done and right now that's what they've got to do.

"We trust each other so I know the man next to me is going to war and the man next to him is going to war," Carter says. "It doesn't really matter who they put out there. That's how I look at it.

"We go over the same techniques and do the same things," he adds. "Everybody knows their spot and what they have to do. It doesn't really affect anything."

Coming off the third consecutive game in which the defense gave up big numbers in the rushing department, Auburn now looks to find some answers beginning this coming weekend against UT-Martin. Much of the time playing the run is simply a physical issue but Carter says for the defense it's more about technique and assignments.

"Like coach said we're not getting beat, we're losing because of the mistakes we make on defense," Carter says. "It's not really other teams doing anything. It's mainly us."

Kickoff for Auburn's homecoming game on Saturday is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.


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