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Lights out: Auburn defensive line not getting enough credit for being one of best in the country

A trio of Auburn defensive lineman bring down Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
A trio of Auburn defensive lineman bring down Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn defenders are getting into election season.

Many players spent extended portions of their post-game sessions with the media Saturday night campaigning for the Tigers’ defensive line to be recognized as one of the best unit’s in the country following a 56-3 win over Arkansas.

“They do all the dirty work and I honestly feel like they don’t get enough credit,” Auburn linebacker Deshaun Davis. “They make my job easy.”

The defensive front was flawless playing a key role in holding a high-powered Razorbacks’ rushing attack to 25 total yards while making opposing quarterback Austin Allen’s day a miserable one.

“Our defense holding that group to 25 yards rushing was really unbelievable,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “That was one of the goals: to try to make them one-dimensional and try to get after the quarterback. Our guys up front in those passing situations did a super job.”

Auburn sacked Allen three times and hurried half of his 30 pass attempts. The quarterback turned the ball over twice (one interception) before leaving the game with an undisclosed injury in the fourth quarter.

“Our defensive line played lights out today,” Davis said.

Auburn defensive lineman Carl Lawson had one of the most effective games of his career accounting for seven quarterback hurries by himself and teaming up with Montravius Adams for a sack on Arkansas’ opening possession.

According to Davis, Lawson and the rest of the line set the tone for the rest of the game on that first drive by getting in Allen’s face each time he dropped back to throw.

“When the quarterback has that ticker in his head he know he got to get the ball out early,” Davis said. “Our pass rush got to them early and kind of messed up their rhythm as an offense.”

Lawson had what would have been his first career interception on the fifth play of the game called off due to a late offsides penalty.

It wasn’t just the first team line disrupting Arkansas’ offense either with Andrew Williams, Jeff Holland and Devaroe Lawerence each getting to the quarterback.

“Everybody did their job,” Auburn defensive back Javaris Davis said. “Defensive line was very big. I think they are one of the best defensive lines in the country and you see the results.”

The recognition outside of Auburn’s locker room might not be coming as quick as some players would like, but players will keep putting the message out there.

“I love my defensive line,” Davis said with a smile.

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