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Auburn defense striving for perfection to bail out struggling offense

Auburn defensive lineman Montravius Adams sacks Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight Saturday, Sept. 18, 2016 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn defensive lineman Montravius Adams sacks Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight Saturday, Sept. 18, 2016 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn’s offense has bailed out the defense a time or two during Montravius Adams’ three-plus years on the Plains.

Adams is disappointed the defense couldn’t help return the favor Saturday night in a 29-16 loss to Texas A&M at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

“It (the offensive struggles) put a little pressure on us, but since I’ve been here the offensive has been pretty good,” Adams said. “They had a little struggle today. The offensive has always picked the defense up. We should always be able to pick them up.”

Auburn’s offense punted nine times in a performance that forced coach Gus Malzahn to acknowledge the whole group is a “work in progress.”

Adams and company still put the Tigers in position to break a five-game SEC losing streak by forcing Texas A&M to settle for field goals in four of its five trips to the red zone.

The Aggies went 2 of 15 on third downs and minus a late 89-yard touchdown run averaged 3.9 yards a carry on the ground.

None of the stats mattered to Adams.

“I don’t think we played good enough,” the senior lineman said.

Adams said the outcome could have been different if the defense was perfect on third down, didn’t allow a field goal or even converted turnovers into points.

“Nothing is stopping us from getting a couple pick-sixes,” Adams said.

While coach Gus Malzahn absolved the defense of any blame — “the inconsistency on offense was the key to the game, I thought our defense played well” — his players weren’t as willing to give themselves a passing grade.

“When it comes down to it, we have to make those plays,” Adams said.

Adams, who had Auburn’s lone sack and three quarterback hits, included himself in the statement. He missed out on a second sack when Texas A&M quarterback spun out of his grasp.

Auburn’s defense will get back Sunday with the same goal of perfection in mind.

“As a defense you never want to see points go up on the board,” Auburn linebacker Deshaun Davis said. “That’s out standard. That’s who we are.”

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