"Every time we get into third-and-seven, we're not running the same blitz we've run all year," Dede said. "We're running something they've never seen."
That goes back to the fall when first-year defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, a former Georgia player, installed his expansive and multiple defensive schemes.
"I thought, ‘This must be what he NFL is like,'" Dede said. "We put in something new every single day. I thought to myself, ‘How are we ever going to figure all this out?'"
The rapid installation has paid off this season, Dede said, as Muschamp has a wide variety of schemes to choose from each week. Muschamp was a four-year letterman at safety for the Bulldogs and was the defensive co-captain in 1994, his senior season. His first major coaching job came in 2001, when he joined Nick Saban's LSU staff, and he followed Saban from Baton Rouge to the NFL for one season before landing at Auburn.
He made quite an impact when he got there, Dede said.
"He's definitely different from anybody I've ever played for, the way he calls the game, his enthusiasm and emotion during the game," Dede said. "Early in the year, I think guys were intimidated by his style. He coaches the game with a lot of emotion, and we feed off of it. As soon as you make a big play and you get to the sideline, he's the first one there." The Tigers are second in the SEC and fourth nationally in scoring defense (11.5 points per game allowed) and third in the SEC and 13th nationally in total defense (276 yards per gameallowed). Muschamp and Georgia quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo played together and remain friends.
"We were watching film the other day and they made a great play on defense and (Bobo) laser-pointed Muschamp and he was jumping up and down and (Bobo) was like, ‘Look at my boy,'" Stafford said.