AUBURN, Ala. — Several young defensive players got a taste of the college game in the second half against San Jose State, but Ellis Johnson said many of them remain “unchallenged” after the first two games of the season.
“Really the other team started running the football, basic runs, and they played OK,” Auburn's defensive coordinator said. “It wasn't anything going on that got them challenged. ... But at least we got them on the field and got some game experience.”
Newcomers Tre’ Williams, DaVonte Lambert and Stephen Roberts all recorded tackles against the Spartans.
Lambert, a former junior college player, recorded his first career sack and forced a fumble early in the third quarter.
Outside of senior defensive tackle Jeff Whitaker, Johnson said everyone on his defense is “pretty healthy” heading into the bye week. “We have some that could use two or three days with nicks, bruises and bumps, but nothing serious." After reviewing the film from the San Jose State game, Johnson said a defensive facemask penalty should not have been called on the Spartans’ first play of the game, a fumble that Auburn recovered. “That's first-and-10 for Auburn on the 22-yard line. Instead it's first-and-10 for them on about the 37-yard line," he said. "But we caused a turnover the very first play of the game.”