Gus Malzahn says defense 'deserves a lot of credit' for turnaround

December 6, 2013 

Auburn's Ryan Smith, Angelo Blackson, and Carl Lawson stop Alabama's rushing attempt in last Saturday's Iron Bowl. Kyle Tucker/Auburn University

ATLANTA — A key to Auburn’s turnaround this season has been the play of its offense. Aside from leading the SEC in rushing (318.2 yards per game), it also ranks second in total offense (491.0) and fourth in scoring (38.6). The defense, meanwhile is at the other end of the spectrum; Auburn ranks among the bottom five in the conference in total defense, rushing defense and passing defense, though it is fifth in points allowed at 22.5.

But the numbers don’t paint the entire picture.

To Gus Malzahn, what matters is the unit upping its level of play in pivotal moments.

“Our defense has really complemented our offense,” the coach said.”They came through time and time again when our offense was struggling or needed a lift. You think about last week: fourth quarter, big stops. We've (also) been one of the better teams in the red zone. That's really helped us. Our defense deserves a lot of credit for why we're here.”

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