Auburn’s defense has made minor improvements since its season began, but it is still nowhere near acceptable by Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp’s standards.
“It’s certainly not something I’m used to, and not something we should become accustomed to,” Muschamp told reporters on Wednesday night.
The new defensive coordinator has a point.
Muschamp’s struggles as the head coach at Florida the past four seasons were well documented, but for the most part his defenses performed respectably.
The Gators ranked third in the SEC in total defense in 2014 and fifth in rushing yards allowed. This season Auburn is 13th in total defense and dead last in rushing yards allowed at 209.6 per game.
“Hell, ain’t nobody got to throw it,” Muschamp said about Auburn’s opponents on Tuesday.
Muschamp was brought in to improve a defense that gave up 398.8 yards a game last season, but so far the defense is worse, allowing 412.6 yards a game.
After getting gashed on the ground in its first three games, Muschamp changed the starting lineup before Auburn’s fourth game against Mississippi State. The Tigers lost, but the defense gave up 17 points and just 56 rushing yards.
However, the following week Auburn gave up 406 total yards to San Jose State. The defense forced four turnovers in the 35-21 win, but counting on turnovers is not a reliable solution.
With some injured members returning, Muschamp’s defense could be getting reinforcements.
Junior defensive back T.J. Davis, who has not played this season with an ACL injury, should be ready for the game against Kentucky along with freshman defensive back Tim Irvin who bruised his foot in the loss to Mississippi State.
Muschamp also mentioned the possibility of freshman defensive linemen Andrew Williams and Jauntavius Johnson seeing playing time to add depth to the front seven.
The bye week has given Muschamp a chance to reevaluate the defensive personnel and he is not ruling out any changes that could improve the defense in the second half of the season.
“We’ll continue to find out the best 11 for us,” Muschamp said.
Auburn DC Will Muschamp on his assessment on Auburn's run defense right now: "Hell, ain't nobody got to throw it." #MGMAuburn
— Matthew Stevens (@matthewcstevens) October 7, 2015