AUBURN, Ala. — Kevin Steele and his Auburn defense are looking to wrap up quite an impressive first half of the 2016 season on Saturday when they visit Mississippi State for their first road game together.
The Tigers are 15th nationally in scoring defense this season and have allowed an average of 16.4 points per game. A strong defensive line has paved the way for success with a surprisingly tough linebacking corps and a solid secondary as Steele’s side of the ball has been the one leading Auburn to victories so far this fall.
Now they’ll be put to the test again in SEC West play Saturday (noon ET on SEC Network) against Mississippi State, which brings a dual-threat quarterback in Nick Fitzgerald and an innovative offensive mind in head coach Dan Mullen.
Steele is set to speak with reporters for his weekly press conference Wednesday evening. Follow along here from live updates from the Auburn Athletics Complex.
- On the ULM game: “We challenged the guys to get better and improve because it really was about us. We felt like they did that … we need some more work with the backups. It was the execution and little things that we need to clean up. We’re going to need those guys.”
- “We challenged Montravius Adams in the spring with some things that he needed to improve on … he’s the kind of guy who can affect others around him with the way he plays.”
- Steele said he told Adams before the game “Do you think there’s anybody in that locker room who can keep you from getting to the ball?” He said Adams took that literally on that blocked kick.
- Steele on Mississippi State’s offense: “They’re very comfortable in how they want to attack you. Coach Mullen’s offense has been around for quite a while there.”
- Steele praises the Auburn secondary for being “very well-coached” and “having the right guys there.” The Tigers are Top 15 nationally in pass defense right now.
- “Regardless of what the sack numbers, when you see 6, 7 or 8 quarterback hurries, you’re making the clock tick on the passing game.”
- Steele with the quote of the year on LB Montavious Atkinson: “He’s a rolling ball of butcher knives.”
- “We’re due for more turnovers right now. We’ve got a goal, and we’re getting better out that.”
- Steele on Auburn’s linebackers: “They don’t stay blocked. They’re very well-coached. They’ve been challenged, because we needed to make a significant jump with them in terms of production and consistency. They took that challenge personally.”