Roof Sees A Lot to Like in Homecoming Win

Auburn defensive coordinator gives his take on Auburn's football victory over the Furman Paladins.

Auburn, Ala.--Ted Roof said he saw a lot to like with the defensive performance from his first stringers in Auburn's 63-31 Homecoming victory over Furman.

Head coach Gene Chizik made the decision to sit all of the starters on defense and offense after halftime with the Tigers on top 42-3.

In the third and fourth quarters the Tigers played second stringers, third stringers and others. The results were better on offense than they were on defense.

"We certainly got a lot of people in there," Roof said. "There is no question about that. I thought our first group did a fantastic job in the first half."

At the break the first defense had limited Furman 59 total yards on 28 plays. The Paladins were 0-7 on third downs in the first half and had 10 rushing plays for a net total of zero yards.

For the game the Paladins improved their totals to 266 yards with 179 through the air.

"In the second half we played a lot of different combinations of folks, a lot of folks who got a chance to play for Auburn so that is a wonderful thing," Roof said. "We just have to keep working to get better."

The game was the first one for Demond Washington to play safety. Making his first Auburn start, the junior cornerback worked at safety in regular situations and moved over to cornerback in nickel packages.

Roof said he liked what he saw from Washington. "I thought he played well," the coach said. "He was active. He looked like he was involved in a lot of plays."

With injuries taking their toll on the secondary's depth, the Tigers experimented with a pair of wide receivers at cornerback. Both Anthony Gulley and Philip Pierre-Louis saw playing time at cornerback.

"You have to be very simple in what you call, and we were," Roof said in explaining how the defense lined up when Gulley and Pierre-Louis were playing. "Where we are depth-wise you have to try some different things and give some guys some opportunities. We are thankful they had the opportunity to get out there and get their feet wet a little bit and get the feeling of what it is like to play."

Roof noted that he was glad that his over-worked starting linebackers were able to watch the second half from the sidelines. "Very important, very important, very important," Roof said for extra emphasis when talking about getting the group some rest.

Looking at the first defense's performance, the coach added, "They did what we asked them to do. We asked them to take care of business and they did. We were fortunate enough for it to be able to work out to get those other guys in there and let them go."


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