Q & A: Danielle Hunter

In this one-on-one with TSD's Ben Love, LSU DE Danielle Hunter discusses the challenges of facing a Gus Malzahn offense, what he remembers from Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2012 and the progress of the defensive tackles.

Junior defensive end Danielle Hunter and the LSU defense are preparing for a stiff test on the Plains Saturday night going up against an explosive Auburn offense.

Hunter actually enjoyed one of his best games a season ago in LSU's 35-21 home win over Auburn, registering a season-high eight tackles.

TSD caught up with the Texas native Tuesday night to get his thoughts on facing Gus Malzahn's offense, how the defensive line is improving and the defense doing its part to help out a new starting quarterback in Brandon Harris.


Ben Love: You had a pretty good game against Auburn last year. What do you think it is about your skill set or the way you play that lends itself to this game?

Danielle Hunter: I feel like with the D-Line, the key for this game is getting off blocks quickly. Last year I felt like we kinda got off blocks quick, but not quick enough. This year that's our focus again, and we hope to do better.

BL: What is it about their running attack and their scheme that makes it difficult for a lot of defenses to defend?

DH: One thing we noticed about them is their formations. They have a lot of formations that we've never seen before. So it's about getting on the field, knowing about those formations and where certain guys are, that'll help us out.

BL: It makes sense to me that a week like this would suit a player like Deion Jones, a faster, quicker linebacker. Do you see that?

DH: Debo and all the other guys we have (at linebacker), those are guys we can count on. Whether it's Duke [Riley] or Debo, they're guys that can just fly through gaps and sack the quarterback or get the running back. We count on them.

BL: I know you play on the defensive side, but starting a new quarterback this week, does that change the mindset at all for the defense?

DH: We've just got to go on the field whenever it's our time and respond to the situation that we have at hand.

BL: What do you remember from being at Auburn two years ago?

DH: I remember it was a tight game, it was 12-10. It was our first SEC game, and that was my first SEC game. That's when I was introduced to (the fact) that in the SEC anybody can win at any time. Auburn, they were bad that year, and then the next year they played in the national championship game. So that tells you everybody can win in the SEC.

BL: Do you have confidence that those defensive tackles as a group have kinda fixed some of the problems against Mississippi State and are ready for the challenge Saturday?

DH: Yeah, at practice we've been focusing on getting better in the things we do. They're much more technique-sound than before. Guys like [Maquedius] Bain and [Davon] Godchaux, I think we can count on them to get in there.

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