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Muschamp: "Hell, ain't nobody ever got to throw it (against us)"

Michael Niziolek

mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn defensive back Johnathan Ford (23) tackles San Jose State tight end Billy Freeman (18) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in Auburn, Ala. Auburn won 35-21.
Auburn defensive back Johnathan Ford (23) tackles San Jose State tight end Billy Freeman (18) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in Auburn, Ala. Auburn won 35-21. AP Photo

Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp didn’t pull any punches Wednesday night.

Muschamp called out the Tigers’ front seven, plainly stating they “haven’t been good enough” through the first five games.

His criticism continued when he was asked about his level of concern over the secondary’s performance.

“Hell, ain’t nobody ever got to throw it (against us),” Muschamp said, with a wry smile.

“You turn the tape on. You got to play blocks. You got to play double teams. You got to play to keep people off the linebackers. Linebacker has to take on blocks in the core of the formation. You got to leverage the formation. So many things that we need to improve. We have to continue to strive and get the right combination of guys that can do that.”

The lack of negative plays up front, and terrible performance against the run has forced Muschamp to focus on basic fundamentals during the bye week.

“In my error, we’ve gotten away from some of those things,” Muschamp said, of defensive techniques for taking on blocks. “We need to be much better, much improved at that. We haven’t made as much progress as we need to. We certainly have spent a lot of time on that and we will continue to because you have to spend time on things that you’re not doing well.”

In previous sessions with the media, Muschamp admitted the numbers Auburn’s defense has given up this season are some of the worst he’s seen in his entire career.

He continues to express frustration at the team’s poor execution against non-power five opponents.

Auburn is giving up 209 rushing yards per game this season on 5.5 yards per carry. Jacksonville State rushed for 165 yards against the Tigers, and they gave up a season-high 234 to San Jose State.

“It’s always, it’s always - it’s not something that I’m used to and it’s not something we need to become accustomed to, either,” Muschamp said. “I really thought going into the Mississippi State game, or excuse me, after the Mississippi State game we had really made some progress. Kirk Sampson told me after the game that it was the first time since ’08 that Auburn’s held an SEC under 60 yards rushing—since ’08. That’s a long time. And shocking, to be honest.”

Muschamp made it clear the defense’s struggles aren’t related to lack of effort. He called Tuesday and Wednesday practices “outstanding,” and is very pleased with the team’s level of focus.

“We’re not going to be here long, I can assure you of that,” Muschamp said, of being one of the worst defenses in the country.

Michael Niziolek covers Auburn football for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Email him at mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

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