Auburn postgame: Tigers take red zone defense 'personal,' Mason reaches 1,000 yards rushing for the season

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comNovember 9, 2013 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — As has been the calling card of Auburn's defense this season, it bowed its neck when Tennessee got close to the end zone.

The Tigers allowed only 16 points — three field goals and a 17-yard touchdown run by Rajion Neal — on Saturday, with the other Volunteer touchdown coming on a pick-six interception off Nick Marshall in the second quarter.

Linebacker Cassanova McKinzy said it was a point of pride for his unit to keep other teams out of the end zone.

"When it comes to red zone defense, we kind of take it personal, because we’ve been doing pretty good at it," he said. "So it’s kind of a personal feeling. You don’t want to give up any points."

He also said the defense was never worn down at any point in the game, despite the offense compiling four scoring drives that lasted two minutes or less.

"We’re in shape because we practice against this offense every day," he said. "So we’re in shape for it. It’s just a matter of getting lined up and getting reads right. It’s not the physical (aspect)."

Quick hits

Tre Mason reached 1,000 yards rushing on a 10-yard carry in the third quarter. He's the first Tiger to rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons since Michael Dyer in 2010-11. ... Auburn has scored 30-plus points in six consecutive games for the first time since 2004. ... Cody Parkey had an extra-point blocked in the first quarter, snapping a streak of 90 consecutive makes for the senior kicker. It was the first time the Tigers had a PAT blocked since 1996, when Jaret Holmes' kick was knocked down by LSU.

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